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NEWS DESK

Farm ‘motel’ for foreign workers Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au A farm at Boneo has been given permission to build motel type accommodation for foreign farm workers. The workers will come to Australia under the federal government’s seasonal worker program. Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors have been told that it is hard to find workers locally and that allowing workers from overseas will “further underpin” the viability of the land for agriculture. The development approved by shire in May includes eight units with a total of 32 bedrooms, a common study, laundry and amenities block with a kitchen and entertainment area. A condition of the permit is that the buildings cannot be used as permanent accommodation, private letting or holiday accommodation. The beige coloured buildings will be set back 40 metres from Limestone Road and 55 metres from Boneo Road. Although flood prone, the shire’s building department had approved the site. Despite 11 objections to the plan, shire officers saw it as being “an appropriate response” for use of the green wedge zoned land. The 65.4-hectare farm near Boneo Primary School is used to grow celery, cos lettuce, Asian vegetables, broccoli and iceberg lettuce. In a report to councillors, planning services team leader Lucas Gardiner said allowing the building on the farm “also offers the potential to facilitate cross-border and inter-regional relationships to harness emerging economic opportuni-

ties by providing overseas workers with temporary accommodation and employment”. He said the farm “represents a key component of both the wider green wedge purpose and more local characteristic of Boneo sought to be maintained”. “Furthermore, the purpose of the approval sought within the application is to provide accommodation for seasonal workers that will only further underpin the long-term viability and productivity of the existing agricultural operation and preserve the important rural character,” Mr Gardiner said. “The proposal therefore represents an innovative response to staff shortages relevant to agricultural and land management practices which … strengthen the productivity of the existing crop raising operation while harnessing emerging economic opportunities.” Mr Gardiner said the site for the buildings (“temporary, moveable structures”) was “ideal” and “well set back” from neighbouring properties and screened by existing hedges.

January scavenge THE 2020 Rye Seaside Scavenge will be on Sunday 12 January. Committee members are Iris O’Hara, Josie Jones, this year’s leader Sacha Guggenheimer and Rye Community Group Alliance’s Mechelle Cheers. “Last year we were able to run a fabulous educational and fun clean-up, in addition to collecting valuable litter data that was presented to the Mornington Peninsula Shire,” Ms O’Hara said.

For you: Sorrento Primary School student Zara serves up fairy bread to classmate Bo. The children’s efforts raised $1657 for the Southern Peninsula Community Support and Information Centre, $119 for young cancer patient Charlotte and $890 for Sea Shepherd. Picture: Yanni

Students look at life’s big picture They also collected coats to donate to peninsula charities, footy cards to send to students at schools in remote communities in the Northern Territory and bottle caps to donate to Envision’s Helping Hands program. After recess the students hosted a movie and popcorn afternoon and collected gold coin donations. “It has been wonderful to see such high levels of student engagement, collaboration and community support,” Ms Wills said. Antipodes Book Shop, Scicluna’s Sorrento and St Ernest Blairgowrie donated vouchers and produce.”

SORRENTO Primary School grades 1and 2 students are taking note of the wider world. Teacher Kate Wills said as part of their Design Thinking unit the students identified homelessness as a problem that they would like to help solve, and set about coming up with ideas. This followed a visit by Miranda Gillespie of the Southern Peninsula Community Support and Information Centre who spoke about homelessness and the services it provides. After much “brainstorming” the students held a Helping Festival last Friday which included a market morning where they sold books, food and held a raffle, Ms Wills said.

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7 August 2019

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Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

6 August 2019  

Southern Peninsula News 6 August 2019

6 August 2019  

Southern Peninsula News 6 August 2019

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