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Western Port An independent voice for the community

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Wednesday 17 February 2021

5974 9000 or email: team@mpnews.com.au www.mpnews.com.au

Playing in the shade SOMERVILLE Rise Primary School pupils can seek protection from the sun this summer thanks to a suite of new shade sails. The school council’s fundraising team had the goal of installing shade sails over the playground and, with the help of a federal government grant and BlueScope Steel was able to achieve it. The school said it owed thanks to Flinders MP Greg Hunt, pictured above with the students, and Hastings MP Neale Burgess for their “continued support and for helping to make the playground SunSmart”. Picture: Yanni

Prayer back on agenda Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au THE words “Almighty God” were again recited before the most recent meeting of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Dropped from the list of agenda items in December, the prayer and its reference to God was resurrected on Tuesday 9 February because of moves by Crs Antonella Celi and Hugh Fraser to ask the public for guidance.

Councillors agreed at the 8 December meeting that although still called The Prayer, the actual wording would be changed to a pledge by them to do the right thing by their community. In short, they were told by their inhouse lawyer Amanda Sapolu that as long as what they were saying was called a prayer, there was no need to seek public consultation. That has now changed, and the public will be asked to decide on the prayer’s future as part of a review of

the shire’s governance rules. When moving that the wording of the prayer be changed, Cr Anthony Marsh said he had been "listening to voices that aren't heard; to people that are silent in our community that had a view”. Last week, Cr Celi said the public had not been given any chance to comment re-wording the prayer “which in effect has now become a pledge”. “Please read a dictionary, it’s not a prayer it is just a pledge or affirmation.” She said Cr Marsh’s original motion

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did not include any consideration of the principles of community engagement that she believed involved councillors carrying out their sworn statutory duties. “It’s unfortunate that I had to move this [notice of motion to remind councillors that community consultation is foundational to local government,” Cr Celi said. The 8 December decision had been “a botch job on the whole process by circumventing community consulta-

tion on the prayer in excluding reference to Almighty God”. Cr Celi said the decision “didn’t go down well with our community” and had “stifled the voice of over 58.2 per cent Christians and those of faith on the Mornington Peninsula”. She said the “very foundation” of Australia, its culture, its communities and Western world democracy was founded on these very principles and we must not forget this”. Continued Page 8

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Traffic returns to Main Street MAIN Street Mornington will be progressively reopened to traffic this week after being closed over the busy summer period. Extended outdoor dining areas on the road and in car parking spaces, as well as footpath trading, began to be removed from the close of business on Sunday (14 February). Contractors hired by Mornington Peninsula Shire will progressively remove water-filled barriers. Bus stops, taxis and parking will return to normal from Tuesday. The shire said visitors and residents “enjoyed the atmosphere and vitality created by the temporary closure to traffic”. It said traders had “embraced” the extra space for outdoor eating and sales and customers “felt it easy to relax in a safer, less crowded environment”.

The shire said most people surveyed had given it a score of”either nine or 10 out of 10”. “The enthusiasm and effort shown by businesses in making the best of this opportunity has been very welcome,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said. “Many thousands of visitors and locals enjoyed our new-look Main Street and the additional COVID-safe outdoor dining this summer. It proved a great success in our efforts to support local businesses during the pandemic. The shire said its survey found the public would like to see the street remain closed for longer, while many Main Street businesses wanted it reopened. The shire said it would take further feedback from traders and residents before evaluating plans for next summer. Stephen Taylor

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Online critics react to First Nations naming plan Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A MOVE to prioritise Indigenous language place names on the Mornington Peninsula was defeated at last week’s council meeting, but the shire is at pains to confirm that this does not mean it will forego its “commitment to reconciliation and to celebrating Aboriginal heritage and culture wherever possible”. Cr David Gill moved at the 9 February meeting that the shire “make it a priority” to use Indigenous language place names at every opportunity and review opportunities to use dual names “with an aim to have every cultural heritage site recognised with an historic cultural name within two years”. He urged the council to encourage developers to use Indigenous names and, through the planning scheme, regulations or local laws, to boost recognition of Indigenous place naming, such as the Yawa Aquatic Centre, Rosebud. That name – Indigenous for “to swim” – surfaced after much council toing-and-froing and a community vote on five shortlisted names (“Yawa tops public pool poll” The News 28/7/20). It was estimated at the time that the six-month delay in naming cost the shire $200,000 in officers’ time and consultants’ fees. Cr Gill also pressed for a “rapid increase” in Indigenous language names on the Mornington Peninsula”. Social media lit up when news of the motion aired, with some contributors mistakenly believing the push by

a “woke” council signalled an end to old, familiar place names, such as Sorrento. Cr Antonella Celi agreed the move had “inflamed” the community and caused confusion, especially on talkback radio and Facebook. It “created a wedge” and should have been handled differently, she said. Cr Steve Holland said he was “disappointed the motion has come to us as it did” because “it caused significant community attention and inflamed debate”. “[They] think we’re out there plucking names out of the air and renaming important places on the peninsula willy-nilly – we are not. Where there are opportunities for dual names that’s fine.” Cr Hugh Fraser said Gunnamatta, Tootgarook, Wonga and Kangerong were all examples of Indigenous names in use on the peninsula. “It’s always been government policy that we use First People’s names,” he said. He urged the shire to do extensive research before putting up a generic name. The mayor Cr Despi O’Conner said: “This is about the self-determination of our Indigenous people. It’s up to them to make the decision. They need time to do it their way. “It’s not about us saying it’s going to happen or to put a European watch on it: it is already under way. We have already started that journey.” The mayor said she supported changing names where it was appropriate as part of an evolutionary process. “Reserves and community names have already changed with the help of

Jewell in shire’s crown: The Yawa Aquatic Centre at Rosebud was finally given an Indigenous name after the hiring of consultants and an online poll. Picture: Yanni

the Bunurong Land Council,” she said. Cr O’Connor told The News council would “continue to investigate opportunities to highlight Bunurong/Boon Wurrung place names in consultation with our Traditional Owners and the wider community”. “[Although it] was defeated, council is confident the sentiments outlined in Cr Gill’s motion are [already] covered

in the Reconciliation Action Plan,” she said.“We remain committed to following through with the actions outlined in [the plan], including investigating Bunurong/Boon Wurrung language for naming or dual naming throughout the shire.” After the meeting Cr Gill said there was a need to recognise and make First Nations language place names “normal

in our society”. “Shying away from making this front and centre along with other parts of our community’s Reconciliation Action Plan is unacceptable. “What is right is standing up to the abusive comments that came in from the few who refuse to accept the proud place of First Nations peoples as the original custodians of this land.”

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NEWS DESK

Western Port

Proudly published by Mornington Peninsula News Group Pty Ltd

PHONE: 03 5974 9000 Published weekly. Circulation: 15,000

Journalists: Stephen Taylor, Brodie Cowburn 5974 9000 Photographers: Gary Sissons, Yanni Advertising Sales: Bruce Stewart 0409 428 171 Real Estate Account Manager: Jason Richardson 0421 190 318 Production/Graphic design: Marcus Pettifer, Danielle Espagne Group Editor: Keith Platt 0439 394 707 Publisher: Cameron McCullough REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Peter McCullough, Stuart McCullough, Andrew Hurst, Craig MacKenzie. ADDRESS: Mornington Peninsula News Group PO Box 588 Hastings 3915 Email: team@mpnews.com.au Web: www.mpnews.com.au DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE: 1PM ON THURS 18 FEBRUARY 2021 NEXT ISSUE PUBLICATION DATE: WED 24 FEBRUARY 2021

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We stand as the only locally owned and operated community newspaper on the peninsula. We are dedicated to the belief that a strong community newspaper is essential for a strong community. We exist to serve residents, community groups and businesses and ask for their support in return.

To advertise in Western Port News contact Bruce Stewart on 0409 428 171 or email bruce@mpnews.com.au Western Port

Concerns about bike path route ENVIRONMENTAL groups oppose plans for a shared bike path beside the Moorooduc-to-Mornington railway line. A joint letter with 11 signatories was sent to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council last month “expressing deep concerns about the environmental impact of the proposed shared bike path”. They say the path “hosts the best remnants of significant vegetation … which are now depleted and rare in Victoria, as well as individual species which are state and federally listed as threatened”. The shared bike and railway line trail is being promoted by Mornington Community Safelink Group and Mornington Railway Preservation So-

ciety. Safelink’s Graeme Rocke says it will connect the residential, shopping, sporting, schools and workplaces of Mornington, Mount Eliza and Mount Martha. (“Groups align for shared path” The News 27/7/20). Along the way the two groups are planning to complete one of the Peninsula Bay Trail’s missing links: the route from Moorooduc to Mornington. The letter writers against their plan included a detailed submission on the potentially-threatened plants. Their letter has been included as a submission in the process for identification of potential routes for the Moorooduc-toMornington section of the Bay Trail. The council is reviewing all submissions. Groups who submitted sugges-

tions and comments will be invited to discuss them and hear about the council’s plans and next steps. Stephen Taylor

Recovery help GRANTS to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic are available to eligible business associations, bushland and foreshore friends groups, land-care groups, not-for-profit organisations, community groups and creatives, including individuals and organisations or groups. The Mornington Peninsula Shire grants include quick response relief grants of $2000.For a list of more than 1250 grant opportunities go to mornpen.vic.gov.au/fundingfinder

No shire compo for firefighters MORNINGTON Peninsula ratepayers will not have to pay $10,000 to Rye CFA because of a “muck-up” by a “junior officer”. The CFA was told by the officer on behalf of the shire that it could not hold its annual tin rattle because of safety issues. CFA volunteers traditionally approach motorists for donations every January at the corner of Dundas Street and Nepean Highway. The shire, after “banning” the tin rattle, later admitted its traffic and transport team did not have the power to stop the collection (“Shire backs down on tun rattle ban” The News 1/2/21). It said there had been a mix up, and the decision was a police matter. But this was cold comfort to the CFA, whose captain, Glenn Diamond, said members had been looking forward to the day and the usual banter with motorists. He said the tin rattle had been a major fundraiser for more than 10 years usually raised about $10,000 (“Tin rattle ban

upset for firefighters” The News 25/1/21). At the council’s Tuesday 9 February meeting Cr David Gill said it was necessary to “look after our volunteers … [especially those that put their lives at risk”. The loss of income meant the CFA would be unable to buy new equipment. C Gill said the $10,000 was “on a very small scale for us to recompence what was a muck-up. “I’ve been told [by council officers that it wasn’t a muckup - well I think it was”. CEO John Baker confirmed that a council officer sent a letter “denying the right” for the CFA to conduct its tin rattle. Councillors rejected Cr Gill’s motion to pay the CFA and compensate any other volunteer organisation that protected community health and safety but were unable to hold roadside collections because of COVID-19. Keith Platt

GALLERY TALK There is only two weeks left to see the 2020 National Works on Paper the exhibition must close on Sunday 21 February. With a long and rich history, NWOP features leading artists from across Australia working in the fields of drawing, printmaking, digital prints and paper sculpture. You are able to vote for your favourite work in the People’s Choice Award - the winning artist will receive $1000. On MPRG TV you can watch a conversation with six artists featured in the 2020 National Works on Paper from all around Australia - Kath Fries (NSW), Tamika Grant-Iramu (QLD), Winsome Jobling (NT), Annika Romeyn (ACT), Robert Ewing (WA) and Robert Fielding (SA). Our Young at Art program for preschoolers is now being run every Tuesday morning. With the guidance of an experienced early childhood educator, participants respond to works in the current exhibition with a different hands-on creative activity every week, using materials from the take-home art materials box supplied each session. In our online workshops for kids and adults, Nobenti Oho shows us how to

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make a basket with recycled materials, using weaving, coiling and twining and artist-educator Jill Anderson is inspired by the dynamic and immediate way artist Locust Jones records aspects of his life and asks you to get creative expressing your own current experiences. Artists: Kim ANDERSON, Suzanne ARCHER, Lyn ASHBY, Peter ATKINS, Elizabeth BANFIELD, Hannah BEILHARZ, Chris BOND and Drew PETTIFER, Godwin BRADBEER, Kaye BROWN, Jane BURTON, Penelope CAIN, Marilou CHAGNAUD, Timothy COOK, Matt COYLE, Sam CRANSTOUN, Julia DAVIS and Lisa JONES, Stephen EASTAUGH, Naomi ELLER, Robert EWING, Robert FIELDING, Anna FINLAYSON, Belinda FOX, David FRAZER, Kath FRIES, Brian FUATA, Ash GARWOOD, Minna GILLIGAN, Shaun GLADWELL, Tamika GRANT-IRAMU, Katherine HATTAM, Judy HOLDING, Anna HOYLE, Clare HUMPHRIES, Winsome JOBLING, Deborah KELLY, Iluwanti KEN, Martin KING, Ilona KISS, Barbie KJAR, Jenna LEE, Dane LOVETT, Chips MACKINOLTY, Laith McGREGOR, Noel McKENNA, Roma McLAUGHLIN, Todd McMILLAN, Fiona McMONAGLE, Vera MÖLLER, Ray MONDE, Kent MORRIS, Tom O’HERN, Becc ORSZÁG, David PALLISER, Louise PARAMOR, Hubert PAREROULTJA, Riley PAYNE, Tom POLO, Patrick POUND, Linda PUNA, Cameron ROBBINS, Brian ROBINSON, Annika ROMEYN, Pip RYAN, Wendy SHARPE, Kylie STILLMAN, Jacqui STOCKDALE, Marina STROCCHI, Hiromi TANGO, Hossein VALAMANESH, Lisa WAUP, Rosie WEISS, Regina WILSON, Judith WRIGHT, Heidi YARDLEY

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GOVERNMENT SUPPORTER


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has ordered the owner of this Hastings property to clean it up. Rats scurrying inside and outside the house were filmed by a television current affairs crew. Pictures: Yanni

Clean-up order for rat-infested house Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A HASTINGS house is so rat-infested that the rodents can be seen running along inside window ledges and climbing plants in the overgrown garden. Neighbours say the property is a health risk. Mornington Peninsula Shire has warned it will clean the property tomorrow (Wednesday 17 February) if it has not been done by the owner. Old clothing and newspaper are among the piles of rubbish outside the owner-occupied house. The house, surrounded by trees and bushes, backs onto a regularly mown

council reserve. Lee-Anne McGuinness, who has lived next door for four years, said she and other neighbours had “had enough” of the problem. “I’ve called the [Mornington Peninsula Shire council and the health department with no success and the CFA to say the property is a fire risk,” she said. “No one wants to do anything, but we have got to clean it up.” Ms McGuinness said her dogs and a neighbour’s cats “have got fleas from that property”. “My fear is that if the rats run out of food they will turn on him.” The shire last week confirmed that

acting on “residents’ complaints” it had issued a notice requiring the owner to remove the rats – and the rubbish. Follow up inspections over the next week would ensure the work was being done. Environment protection manager John Rankine said outreach services had also been in contact with the owner to offer support through the process. “Given the public health risk posed by the property we will arrange for the work to be done if it’s not completed within seven days,” Mr Rankine said. “Where owners are reluctant to take action, the shire has sufficient legal authority to ensure action is taken.”

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PAGE 5


NEWS DESK

Police patrol

Explain non-vote

Guns, drugs charges after Mt Eliza raid

MORNINGTON Peninsula residents who did not to vote in last year’s council elections will be sent “please explain” notices by the Victorian Electoral Commission. The VEC says it may send an infringement notice and a penalty of $83 to anyone who doesn’t respond to the letter, or doesn’t provide a sufficient reason for not voting. Around 350,000 letters will be sent out statewide. The letters are due back to the VEC within 28 days. “This notice is not a fine. It’s your chance to explain why you appear not to have voted, if this is the case. This is a question that must be asked of those who appear not to have voted,” electoral commissioner Warwick Gately said. “Please complete and send the notice back within the 28-day timeframe so that we can consider your explanation.”

Look after life jackets A FREE clinic to teach boaters how to maintain their life jackets is coming to Hastings. It is part of Transport Safety Victoria’s Float-Safe pilot program which began last month. MSV recreational boating safety manager Gareth Johnson said: “If you’ve fallen into the water unexpectedly and you get yourself in trouble, having a life jacket that doesn’t inflate isn’t much good to you. “If you own an inflatable lifejacket in Victoria, you should be performing regular checks to make sure it is going to work when you need it. “This program is about familiarising boaters with their life jackets so that they can conduct these checks effectively.” FloatSafe attendees will receive a $30 voucher from a retailer for a new lifejacket, service kit, or other safety equipment. The clinic runs at Hastings 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm on Friday 12 March. Book at wearalifejacket.transportsafety.vic. gov.au/floatsafe

THE arrest of three men after drugs and a loaded sawn-off rifle were allegedly found in a car at Skye led police to a Mount Eliza property where they allegedly found ammunition, steroids and what is believed to be methyl-amphetamine. The garage on the property had also been turned into an outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) clubhouse. Police intercepted a Kia Sportage at a service station on the Western Port Highway after noticing the men at a petrol bowser, 1.50am, Friday 12 February. A 45-year-old Mount Eliza man, reportedly a Finks Outlaw Motorcycle Gang member, was charged with trafficking and drug possession, as well as being a prohibited person possessing a firearm, possessing an unregistered handgun, possessing cartridge ammunition without licence, committing an indictable offence while on bail and contravening bail conditions. He was remanded to appear at Frankston Magistrates’ Court on 19 February. A 21-year-old Cranbourne East man was charged with trafficking methyl-amphetamine, possessing amphetamine and possessing an unregistered handgun. He was bailed to appear at Frankston Magistrates’ Court on 26 November. A 35-year-old Mornington man was released pending further inquiries.

Home grown CANNABIS plants and drug trafficking items were allegedly found at a Rye house last week. Rosebud and other police arrested a 32-yearold woman and charged her with cultivating cannabis, trafficking a drug of dependence, possessing trafficking equipment, possessing the proceeds of crime and related charges, Thursday 4 February. She was bailed to appear at Dromana Magistrates’ Court at a later date. “Targeting local-level and mid-tier drug crime to disrupt and dismantle networks is a fo-

With Stephen Taylor

cus and part of Victoria Police’s drug strategy,” Acting Sergeant Flyn Loughlin, of Rosebud police, said. “Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Victoria and all illicit drugs are major drivers of crime.” He urged members of the Mornington Peninsula community with information on drug-related crimes to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000. Personal details can remain confidential.

Fake $100 notes TRADERS and shoppers are being warned to watch out of counterfeit $100 notes, especially in Mornington. Detective Senior Constable Jason Hocking, of Somerville CIU, said a Caucasian man, aged 30-40, unshaven and wearing a COVID-19 mask, had been passing the “high quality” notes in the town: one on 31 January, one on 3 February, five on 9 February and three on 11 February. He said the notes had been used to buy items at Main Street shops, at the IGA Supermarket at Mount Martha, at Woolworths, Mornington, and at the Homemaker Centre on Nepean Highway. The man, said to be adept at avoiding CCTV cameras, made multiple small purchases for, say, $5 and then collected $95 change. It is only when traders go to the bank that the ruse is discovered: the slightly oversized notes do not fit into branch money-counting machines. Mornington Chamber of Commerce’s Alex Levy is urging traders to be vigilant, saying the notes “look slightly different to real $100 notes”. “It’s pretty rare to have a customer paying in cash at the moment (due to COVID-19) and usually it’s for a small purchase, like $5, then they receive the change,” she said. She told employers to let their staff to know what to look out for and warned them not to

“put yourselves at risk by accusing someone or approaching them”. Anyone suspecting they are in possession of the fake notes is urged to contact Detective Senior Constable Harry Simpson, at Somerville CIU, 5978 1300.

Cigarettes stolen TWO thieves stole cigarettes from the Woolworths supermarket at Mornington, early Monday 8 February. Detective Senior Sergeant Alan Paxton, of Somerville CIU, said the men with their faces covered loaded an unknown quantity of cigarettes into a shopping trolley and left through the Main Street entrance, 3.30am. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Cash, camera found A “SUBSTANTIAL amount” of money was found in the pocket of an item of clothing donated to a Rosebud charity last week. Property officer Tony Paterson, of Rosebud police, said the money was waiting to be claimed by the rightful owner who would need to name the charity, the amount, and the denominations before being allowed to collect it. Meanwhile, police are seeking the owner of a Canon EOS 1000D camera found on Dromana foreshore on 30 January. If the owner can identify the camera either by its serial number or by the type or description of the photos police will be happy to return it. Database checks indicated that the camera had not been reported as either lost or stolen last week. Inquiries to Senior Constable Paterson at Rosebud police 5986 0444 (7am-3pm Monday to Friday).

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PAGE 7


NEWS DESK

Knock back for town’s 7th bottle shop Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council has knocked back a bid to open another bottle shop at Hastings. The liquor outlet, proposed for shop 4-6, 20 Victoria Street, Hastings, would have been the seventh in the town. The planning services committee on 27 January voted in support of Cr Lisa Dixon’s motion that the proposal was an “incompatible land use that would, in conjunction with existing licenced premises, result in adverse cumulative impacts on the amenity of Hastings town centre and surrounding residential areas”. Cr Antonella Celi seconded the motion which was carried unanimously. Cr Dixon said she “called in” the liquor store application because there were already six outlets in Hastings, two in Tyabb, one at Crib Point and one at Bittern Fields. “While I support small business, I could not support this application due to the number of outlets

potentially becoming 12 to service about 9500 residents,” she said. Cr Dixon questioned whether another proposed liquor outlet “does indeed protect community amenity, health and safety”. “The position selected for this potential outlet is also concerning: It’s between three established liquor outlets within 500 metres and alongside a mall with lighting and seating. “Proposed hours of trading were also unreasonable compared to the existing outlets.” Shire officers recommended the bottle shop be approved subject to appropriate permit conditions. Victoria Police also did not oppose it. One objection to the application had claimed it would further antagonise the “drug and alcohol problem in Hastings”; that it would lead to “property damage … by alcohol dependent persons” and would lead to alcohol and drug-related waste in the streets. The objector said they would “like to see [an] increased police presence and alcohol-support service” in the town.

Council masked up for ‘first’ meeting TUESDAY 9 February was the first Mornington Peninsula Shire Council meeting open to the public since April, when COVID-19 forced them online. Just 50 members of the public were allowed to attend last week’s meeting at Mornington Community Theatre and strict safety measures applied: mandatory masks, QR codes, social distancing and “a symptom self-assessment" before leaving home. Councillors and staff were masked up, although the 1.5 metre distance seemed hard to achieve for some, especially when a rear shot showed the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor lean left and whisper in the ear of governance manager Amanda Sapolu. It is not known if all councillors wore masks during the confidential section of the meeting. Keith Platt

Prayer returns to council

Almighty God, we humbly seek Thy blessings upon this Council. Direct and prosper its deliberations to the advancement of Thy glory and true welfare of the people of the Mornington Peninsula Shire. Give us the strength and courage to make wise decisions with grace and dignity. Amen The prayer (with council’s capitals) as read out at the Tuesday 9 February meeting by Cr Debra Mar

Continued from Page 1 “The feedback from the community spoke loud and clear they were not happy and taken by surprise with the removal of the reference to God from the prayer and their voices need to be heard in this debate,” Cr Celi said. “No one is forcing anyone to say the prayer, you can choose not to, but no councillor or lobby has a right to shut down and vilify our community for being Christian or of faith with their reverse discriminative narrative and faux definition of what they believe a secular society should look like.”

Cr Fraser said that on the same night that councillors changed the prayer to a pledge they adopted a community engagement strategy that obliged them to “seek out and facilitate the participation of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision”. He said Ms Sapolu’s “hair splitting advice – which an experienced lawyer will instantly recognise – was not conservative, was not sound, it was not good”. “A prayer by definition must refer to God. That is the ordinary natural meaning of the word. “This secular pledge is not a prayer and

our rules have been amended without consulting with our community.” Ms Sapolu, head of governance, said the prayer was said before last week’s meeting because Cr Fraser had lodged a notice of motion to rescind Cr Marsh’s 8 December motion to reword the prayer. “The impact of a notice of motion to rescind is that no action can be taken to implement the resolution it seeks to rescind, until the notice of motion to rescind is decided by council. Accordingly, the former prayer was said at the meeting,” Ms Sapolu said.

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PAGE 8

Western Port News 17 February 2021


Shire, Opposition unite against AGL Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire last followed the state Opposition in reinforcing opposition to power company AGL’s plan for a gas import terminal at Crib Point. The Opposition’s resources spokesperson Ryan Smith on Monday last week said the decision was based on supporting “local residents”, “serious environmental concerns” about the route of a proposed pipeline to Pakenham and because “the legally recognised indigenous traditional owner group opposes the project” (“Opposition against AGL gas terminal” The News 10/2/21). One day later, Mornington Peninsula Shire issued a news release “welcoming” the Opposition’s stand. “With state Planning Minister Richard Wynne due to make a final decision by the end of March on whether to approve the proposal, council has joined the state Opposition’s call for the project to be rejected,” the shire stated in a news release headed “Opposition to AGL Crib Point gas project mounts”. The shire’s reasons for opposing the gas terminal were also in accord with those listed by the Opposition: “Council’s strong opposition to the gas project reflects widespread community concern about its potential impacts on the environment, climate change, local amenity and indigenous cultural heritage.” It said a poll conducted on social media last August “attracted more than 2000 responses, with an overDECKING T/Pine 70x22 KD ACQ ........................... $2.70mt T/Pine 90x22 KD ACQ ........................... $3.50mt Merbau 70x19 Random ........................ $5.25mt Merbau 90x19 Random ........................ $6.50mt Merbau 140x22 Random .................... $13.25mt Spotted Gum 86x19 .............................. $7.50mt Spotted Gum 135x19........................... $13.95mt

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OPPOSITION MPs Neale Burgess and Ryan Smith announce their party’s decision to opposepower conmpany AGL’splans for a gas import terminal at Crib Point. The two MPs stood on the steps of the Western Port Oberon Association’s headquarters to address the hastilyassembled crowd. Picture: Supplied

whelming 93 per cent of respondents against the proposal”. Community group Save Westernport said it was “heartened” by the Opposition’s “surprise announcement”. “We’re particularly encouraged that our community’s opposition to AGL in Western Port, and the Bunurong Land Council’s views have been heard,” Save Westernport stated. “The overwhelming rejection of AGL’s plans has been a common response to the compelling evidence of countless unacceptable risks revealed during the recent EES hearings.” The group wants state Opposition MPs and Flinders MP Greg Hunt “to make sure … [federal] Environment Minister Sussan Ley understands the full extent of the risks of AGL's proposal”.

Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said the “Victorian Liberal Nationals have now joined a chorus of diverse groups against AGL’s project including three local councils, fishing businesses, the tourism industry, conservation groups, the traditional owners and local federal MP Greg Hunt”. Hastings Liberal MP Neale Burgess has previously said he did not believe the gas project “should ever have been considered for Crib Point, as it will just serve to once again, encourage thinking of this beautiful area as a potential location for toxic industrial development”. The statement issued by Mr Ryan is the strongest support yet that the Opposition has given to Mr Burgess. Mr Ryan said the state government’s moratorium on gas exploration and

development had left Victoria short of supply and with rising gas prices. He quoted Bass Coast Shire Council as saying, “the project has the potential for serious impacts on the marine environment and biodiversity of Western Port”. He said Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation “damningly found” that construction plans for the terminal and the 56km pipeline to Pakenham “do not attempt to avoid harm and do not sufficiently minimise harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage and have not met the requirement under the Environment Effects Act 1978”. Mr Ryan said any jobs created by the terminal “would require specific skills and likely be filled from within AGL’s existing workforce”.

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THE impact of COVID-19 on both the community and sporting clubs last year reached far and wide. The clubs lost a season of playing football as well as their ability to remain financial. The pandemic hit South Mornington Football Club hard as it was to be its inaugural season in the Southern Football Netball League since transferring from the Victorian Amateur Football Association after 12 years. South Mornington, based at Mount Martha, was looking forward to 2020 with new clubrooms and a new senior coach in Terry Brennan. However, its pre-season was brought to a sudden halt and then, after the initial lockdown was lifted, training resumed for a delayed start to the season on 25 July. But the season was abandoned, as it was for all other sporting codes. However, South Mornington has resumed pre-season training at Citation Oval, Helena Street, at 6pm Mondays and Wednesdays. The club has, however, found that fielding two senior sides this season is going to be a problem given the low numbers at training. With practice matches planned over three weeks in March, and the competition scheduled to start on 10 April, players are urgently needed. Past and potential players are invited to “pull the boots on” and enjoy playing football in the club’s inaugural season in the SFNL. Those interested should contact Terry Brennan 0413 889 938 or club president Colin O’Neill 0414 517 839. Stephen Taylor

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www.dromanatimber.com.au Western Port News

17 February 2021

PAGE 9


NEWS DESK

Council ignores move to end kangaroo shoots Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au A LACK of scientific evidence has seen all but one of the shire’s 11 councillors decline to call for a ban on the slaughter of kangaroos on the Mornington Peninsula. Cr David Gill said kangaroo shooting should be stopped because “we don’t know how many there are and how many are being killed”. His move failed to get the backing of even one councillor and lapsed without a vote being taken at the council’s Tuesday 9 February meeting. Cr Gill’s motion called for a ban of kangaroos shooting “until scientific research is undertaken justifying the need for this practice and determining the long-term ramifications on our kangaroo population”. However, his 10 council colleagues appeared to want the scientific evidence before wanting to stop the issuing of licences which property owners to kill kangaroos. The licences are issued by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) but the information about how many kangaroos are allowed to be killed is only available through a freedom of information (FOI) application (“Fight to save peninsula’s kangaroos” The News 9/2/21). The peninsula is included in the Gippsland region for the purposes of issuing licences. Unofficial estimates of the number of kangaroos on the peninsula range from 1500 to 3500.

Picture: Gary Sissons Chris McEvoy, whose family runs a wedding reception business and grows grapevines on more than 40 hectares at Merricks North, saw councillors’ reactions to Cr Gill’s concerns as “a joke”. “I would have thought there wouldn't be one Australian that doesn't like a kangaroo - we really have to change the perception they are pests,” he said. Mr McEvoy said kangaroo habitat on the peninsula was “rapidly shrinking, and so are their numbers”.

He said scientific studies had shown kangaroos did not compete with livestock for grass, or eat crops, or destroy fences “and they only get caught in poorly maintain fences without access points or when terrorised by shooters or dogs”. “Studies have shown a cow eats seven times more grass than a kangaroo and generally they are eating different grasses.” Nathan Stamkos, DELWP’s conservation regulator manager, regulatory

operations Port Phillip, said the number of kangaroos available for “harvesting” varied each from region to region “based on environmental conditions, such as rainfall and the availability of food”. The decision was made by DELWP scientists after annual aerial surveys and information such as rainfall data, the age and sex ratio of the animals and how far grey kangaroos move around the landscape, to ensure the population remains sustainable”.

The DELWP would not provide The News with details of how many kangaroos were living on the peninsula or how many were allowed to be killed each year. “The number of kangaroos controlled through the commercial harvesting program and the ATCW system is closely monitored throughout the year to ensure it remains sustainable. Harvesting may be suspended or closed if numbers taken approach the total allocation, or other events, such as bushfires, threaten kangaroos,” Mr Stamkos said. Before Cr Gill’s motion to ban kangaroo shooting on the peninsula lapsed through want of a seconder, he said spotlight shooters were killing kangaroos from a distance. He knew of one farmer who said kangaroos had an impact on his property, while another had told him about a mother kangaroo and two joeys being shot. Cr Anthony Marsh wanted to know if Cr Gill knew what “impact” a shooting ban would have, while Cr Sarah Race asked how long Cr Gill had “known about this issue”. Cr Gill said he was a “third generation” peninsula resident and had known about kangaroos being killed “since I was a baby … it’s always been an issue”. Cr Race then stated that Cr Gill did not have “much information to go on” and wanted to know if he had lobbied MPs or sought details through FOI. Gr Gill said her questions were “totally irrelevant”.

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PAGE 10

Western Port News 17 February 2021


Western Port

property

TRACKSIDE PAGE 3

WEDNESDAY, 17th FEBRUARY 2021

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Wednesday, 17th February 2021

WESTERN PORT NEWS

Page 2


ON THE COVER

INCREDIBLE TRACKSIDE POSITION FOR THE RACER IN US ALL BOASTING one of the most incredible settings imaginable, the address on this stunning 540 square metre mansion is about as exclusive as it gets. The home is one of just three properties that reside in this gated estate overlooking the Mornington Racecourse where views of champion race horses and high profile trainers passing by is a daily event. It would be heaven and earth for anyone involved in the equine industries. The block measures about 1.2 hectares with the luxurious home reflecting all the glamour and indulgence that such a unique position should afford. Heading out in multiple directions from the grand formal entry are five magnificent bedrooms – four with ensuite

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bathrooms and two with walk-in robes. All bedrooms have air-conditioning as does the separate home office. Ascending the palatial staircase up to the spectacular main living zone, the incredible attention to detail in the fixtures and fittings, not to mention the incredible vista across the racecourse is on full display. A deluxe drinks bar with a fabulous art-deco curve is set beside the doorway leading out to the superb alfresco terrace, which come race days will provide the most fabulous space for entertaining. A breathtaking kitchen showcases crisp white cabinets and soft-close drawers amidst a full suite of stainless-steel appliances including under-bench oven and a rangehood. Adjacent to the kitchen

is a grand dining zone that will comfortably seat ten, and a fabulous media room, again just adds that impressive touch to ensure all bases are covered in the delivery of a truly magnificent property. Externally, the grounds provide plenty of scope to further improve the site, however what is in place will keep most families busy. Neat gravel paths loop around established trees and lawn areas up to a double garage under the roof line and there is an enormous Quaker barn with studio. Among the gardens is a playground and a brilliant outdoor undercover chess board.n

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ADDRESS: 167 Roberts Road, MORNINGTON FOR SALE: Contact Agent For Price DESCRIPTION: 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 2 car AGENT: Stewart Lardner 0419 539 072, Community Real Estate, 7/20-22 Ranelagh Way, Mount Eliza, 9708 8667

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Wednesday, 17th February 2021

WESTERN PORT NEWS

Page 3


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To arrange your site inspection contact David Nelli 0403 111 234 or at the office on 5979 2700 / Email: david@peninsulaparklands.com.au mpnews.com.au

Wednesday, 17th February 2021

WESTERN PORT NEWS

Page 4


LETTERS

Letters - 300 words maximum and including full name, address and contact number - can be sent to The News, PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or emailed to: team@mpnews.com.au

Bye, bye transparency Having reviewed the agenda for the Tuesday 9 February Mornington Peninsula Shire Council meeting, I was staggered that after a two-month break since the last council meeting, the agenda was not chock full of key, strategic issues that our community needs to see this new council getting stuck in to. After all, there are myriad meaningful issues pertaining to our shire that need strong and diligent attention and decision. But no, there were a whole bunch of process matters and then a raft of notices of motion which, by and large, either just regurgitated past decisions and issues or became a platform for the promotion of councillor self-interests. Could it be that the shire’s CEO has taken full advantage of the “principles based” provisions of the Local Government Act 2020, as they relate to delegated powers, whereby the CEO may (substantially) act unilaterally and avoid the need to engage with or involve councillors in the decision making processes and, by its very nature, consultation with participation by the peninsula community? Given the non-consequential nature of the items listed on this past meeting agenda, it is possible to draw this conclusion and, If this hypothesis is correct, then we - the community and ratepayers - can all say goodbye to openness, transparency and accountability in the Shire’s decision making processes. Stuart Allen, Dromana

Stand up to abuse I am pleased that the important discussion [about using First Nations peoples’ names]was allowed to proceed [at Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Tuesday 9 February meeting]. Several other matters, including discussion the future of kangaroos on the peninsula and the importance of protecting our iconic view, didn’t even receive a seconder for my motions. I believe that there is a need to recognise and make First Nations’ language place names normal in our society. Shying away from making this front and centre along with other parts of our community’s Reconciliation Action Plan is unacceptable. What is right is standing up to the abusive comments that came in from the few who refuse to accept the proud place of First Nations peoples as the original custodians of this land. David Gill, Red Hill Ward councillor

Personal attraction Fifty years ago, we had the advent of Stockholm syndrome and today, with the continuing threat of COVID-19, we seem to have irrelevance syndrome. First to suffer from this career halting syndrome was federal Opposition leader [Labor] Anthony Albanese, closely followed by Victorian Opposition leader [Liberal] Michael “what about me” O’Brien. Now, it looks like we have another victim in Cr David Gill. Having spent his five minutes of fame as mayor attacking beach box and aircraft owners plus any other subjects deemed “of the right’, he now finds himself in the minority group on council and it sure shows. Kangaroos, green-wedge database and, of course, place name changers, are all guaranteed to keep your name in the paper, even if you are on the wrong side of the voting bloc. Michael G Free, Mount Martha

‘Missing’ councillors Many thanks to “Pam of Mt Eliza” who stoically phoned in on the ABC Conversation Hour last week and got a five minute plug for volunteer opponents of the 60-70 Kunyung Road suburban multi-storied retirement village being proposed on a green wedge block. The presenters realised too late that you were standing up for your rights, promoting the green wedge and trying to confront the multi-million dollar overseas property developer, and they zapped you with some crass excuse that they only wanted to discuss social housing or rental availabilities. You did well under the circumstances, and we applaud your determination above the deafening silence heard from our three Briars Ward councillors, [mayor Despi] O’Connor, [Steve] Holland and [Anthony] Marsh. Sadly, these three remunerated representatives are doing too much

of the other and not enough of the important issues that are foremost on the plates of the ratepayers of the Kunyung Road area. As usual it is being left to the conscientious, established home owners and non-elected members of our community to do the hard work. The Save the Sir Reggie’s Wedges, South Eastern Centre of Sustainability and the Kunyung Road Action Group are doing it for you “Pam of Mt Eliza”, but where are three missing In action Briars Ward councillors? Ian Morrison, convenor Mt Eliza Community Alliance

Need representation Tyabb requires increased community representation on Mornington Peninsula Shire Council on community advancement and community care and welfare issues (“Dangerous path” Letters 2/2/21). This has been an ongoing problem in our area with overgrown paths and tracks, uneven trip hazards on footpath surfaces. Our councillor has been sighted walking his dog along that path. Two further examples of lack of community care and representation are the fatal accident recently along Jones Road, where broken branches were left on the verge of the road for weeks after the accident. Our councillor, Paul Mercurio, was contacted and it still took a month before it was cleared and made safe for road users. I realise Cr Mercurio is busy with his life, but surely he could be more diligent in his [Watson] ward? There is a broken tree on Jones Road opposite the Wellington Road intersection which has been lying on the gravel section of the road creating a hazard to road users for two weeks. One of the Tyabb ratepayer committee [members] lives close by and drives past the broken tree daily; another committee member regularly jogs along Jones Road. I see this as another unsatisfactory situation from a group representing the community. Len Minty, Somerville

Clean start I recently had the misfortune to use the male public toilets in near the bus stop opposite Safeway in Rosebud. To wash your hands there is only cold water, no hand dryer or paper towels and, of course, no soap dispenser or hand cleanser. To top it off there is a sign saying, “it is advisable to bring your own soap”. Seriously. COVID-19 or not, one would think these things are necessary for normal hygiene practice. Maybe Mornington Peninsula Shire Council should get the basics right first, instead of debating which suburbs should have an Indigenous name change. Barry Coaker, McCrae

Clean Team praised Congratulations and thanks to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and its great Clean Team. No wonder Hastings is officially now the tidiest town in Victoria. This year we have all struggled to be cheerful and optimistic, but it certainly helps when we admire the flowers and the tree-lined streets, relax on the waterfront reserves and see Clean Team members cheerfully working seven days a week - even shining and sanitising public rubbish bins. Thank you, Clean Team, we really appreciate your work. Aline and Ron Burgess, Hastings

Untidiest town With Main Street, Mornington barricaded, tables scattered here and there, people mostly just wandering around, no charm, scruffy appearance, I vote Mornington the “Untidiest town of the year”. Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington

Saving history It has been reported that the City of Moreland continues to deny developers’ permission to destroy an historic building. Well done. What a pity Mornington Peninsula Shire Council does not follow suite. We need a review of what is left of significant historic buildings within our shire. I have been banging on for years about this subject, but deaf ears prevail.

“Treasure” on the beach: from left, Max 10, Steven 12, Mia 9, James 12, Alessia 10, Giorgia 12, Grace 8, Georgia 10 and Eric 14. Picture: Supplied

Beach ‘treasure’ What started out as a normal visit to the beach with family and friends on Australia Day turned out to be a day of fortunes, fun and adventure for nine young children from Melbourne. When the sun began to set over Mornington Peninsula’s picturesque Safety Beach the children unearthed a wooden pirates’ treasure chest full of gold coins, silver, Venetian glass and jewellery. Found with the treasure was the treasure map showing the exact location of the treasure, a horse track now known as Marine Drive and It seems money matters and, sadly, developers to easily get what they want. I ask the new councillors to reflect on the importance of history in a real positive way - action is required not platitudes. Make it your business to engage with your constitutes and act immediately before the shire is full of, in my opinion, ugly boxes with no style, with many being poorly constructed to boot. Denise Hassett, Mount Martha

Welcome Opposition It was encouraging to hear the state Opposition oppose AGL’s [gas terminal] project at Crib Point. No corporation should be granted a licence to pollute Western Port and reports of ballast water being dumped in the bay should be investigated by EPA Victoria. The recent public hearings and Inquiry into the Crib Point gas project will see the release of a report and recommendations by the end of February. The AGL board will have a bit of reading to do before it makes a final investment decision. I hope Viva Energy, ExxonMobil and other companies with interests around Western Port take note of the community’s concern about the health of our local environment. Our township needs a vision for the future that promotes our natural environment, attracts visitors and creates local jobs. Crib Point deserves better than a floating gas facility and an oil refinery wasteland. Dale Stohr, Crib Point

Environment in danger The simple fact about the Ross Trust’s attempt to recommence quarrying in Boundary Road in Dromana is that it is attempting to destroy a huge chunk of almost pristine Mornington Peninsula habitat for indigenous plants and wildlife. The trust plans to pump huge quantities of precious water from the old pit 24 hours a day to enable it to dig the existing hole a further 30 metres down and many hectares in all directions. The only reason this proposal has got to the stage of an environmental effects statement is because the Planning Minister Richard Wynne took upon himself to reopen the already rejected proposal Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and brought. This blatant political interference by a Spring Street Labor politician is a disgrace. Our local Labor [Nepean MP] Chris Braine has shown himself a very reluctant defender of the people who are vehemently opposed to this crazy idea.

reference to the area that was formerly known as Shark Bay. “This is the best thing ever,“ cried one of the kids as a crowd began to grow around the gold . Some sceptics would have to ask would have to if it was the long lost treasure of the infamous Captain Black Beard or was it the work of some very creative parents? Whichever, this day has given these young children something that can never be taken away from them - good old-fashioned fun and, more importantly, hope of a better future in this ever changing world we now live in. Robert Palangio, Balwyn North The Ross Trust’s cash splash to community groups, of which many have declined, is a blatant attempt at buying off local opposition to the quarry. Rupert Steiner, Balnarring Beach

Unhappy returns Here we go again. Chairman Dan [Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews] re-opens hotel quarantine, but this time it is world class, gold standard. Except it isn’t. To use a well-worn phrase, it is deja vu all over again. And to use another well-worn phrase, we are so, so fed up with this and our so, so hopeless leader and his so, so repetitive scare tactics. Perhaps the Victorian Governor should get the judge from NSW who did the Crown [casino] inquiry to re-run the hotel quarantine debacle (version 1) inquiry again. I suspect she would get answers, much the same way she has got answers that seem to have avoided the Victorian gaming commission people (aka Friends of Crown). And dare we hope, the resignation that is long overdue, of Eddie Everywhere and the Crown board members. Jack Wheeler, Mornington

Living for Labor Every year begins in February in downtown Rye, the isolation during January a necessity until the departure of our blessed holiday visitors. Mythological optimism remains, up to a point, promises of progress towards a better world? My last year, though I’m frequently told I say this every year. Certainly, the last following politics. Been listening to my body for years now telling me it’s time, for what? To watch television? Hoping (expecting) a Labor victory? Seeing the backside of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, presently supporting a coalition majority of one? With the United States back in (a form of) control, the Democrats, and with it the serious upgrade in the urgency of climate change, putting Morrison in a bind with his right wing clique, leading me (and my body) to a Labor victory sometime during the next 12 months. Albo’s [Labor leader Antony Albanese] big chance. Sure, he’s no Whitlam, Hawke or Keating, but neither is our prime minister as strong as the experts tell us, once you list all his mistakes of the past two years, including his consistent do nothing’ approach. Albo needs not only his jobs focus but coming in heavily (clearly) on climate change, negative gearing, capital gains and industrial relations. On the basis of governments being shown the door rather than elected, Albo’s more than half a chance. A last year worth the wait? Cliff Ellen, Rye Western Port News

17 February 2021

PAGE 15


100 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK...

Motorcyclist accused of negligence Compiled by Cameron McCullough THERE was an extraordinary conflict of evidence in the Frankston Police Court on Monday last, when John Bell was charged with negligently driving a motor cycle. Additional interest was given the case from the fact that the chief witness for the prosecution was a well known resident of the Peninsula named William Cooper Meldrum, who was knocked down by the motor cycle in question, and sustained injuries resulting in the loss of a leg. The Bench was occupied by Mr. Knight, P.M., and Messrs C. G. V. Williams, C. W. Grant, and Cr W. Armstrong, J’s.P. When Mr Meldrum’s name was called, a stalwart relative carried the old gentleman from the body of the court and placed him in a chair near the witness box. Mr Meldrum gave his age as 67, and his occupation as an orchardist at present residing at Carrum. He said that on the 12th August last he was standing on the edge of the road at Carrum, near the railway station. He was standing still, facing towards Melbourne, when the motor cycle struck him. After the accident he was conveyed to the Melbourne Hospital where he remained for 15 weeks and 3 days, during which time his leg was amputated. Cross-examined Witness did not step back when he heard the cycle approaching. A van was standing close in to the gutter on the other side of the road.

Witness did not know Bell, the driver of the cycle, and he did not remember Bamford, giving assistance after he had been knocked down. To the P.M.– I am certain I stood still, on the edge of the road while waiting for the train. Frank Guy, builder, and a councillor of the Borough of Carrum, said he was standing at the door of Hacking’s store, when he saw defendant’s cycle with side-car pass; it was travelling at about 20 miles an hour. The side car struck Meldrum who was standing on the side of the road. The cycle was on the centre of the road, but the side car, which was affixed to the right hand side of the cycle, was on the wrong side of the road. Witness ran to Meldrum, whose leg was broken, the bone was sticking through a tear in the trousers. Defendant continued on for about 60 yards and witness signalled to him to return which he did after some delay. Witness then told defendant that he had plenty of room to pass. Cross Examined – Witness was certain the cycle was on the crown of the road and would swear the side car was affixed to the right of the cycle. Albert Henry Hackling, retired storekeeper Carrum, said he rendered first aid to Meldrum. He noticed that the tracks of the motor cycle went well over towards the railway fence. Cross examined – I did not see the accident. Louis Poulson, painter, Carrum, said he saw Meldrum standing about 3ft on

the asphalt before the accident. He was standing quite still. Cross-examined—I was about 70 yards distant from Meldrum. This closed the case for the prosecution. The defendant, John William Bell, employed as hall-keeper at the Prahran Town Hall, said he saw a van standing on the road and an old gentleman on the other side; he tried to steer his way between the two, but something went wrong with the control, the rod broke and his machine dashed off at 50 miles an hour. The handle of the machine and the step on the right side struck Meldrum. The side car was on the left of the machine, and the cycle was running on the crown of the road at the time. Cross-examined – I visited two hotels on the road and had three drinks. I have had the machine repaired since the accident. The position of the side-car was not changed. It was always on the left of the machine, which is an “Excelsior”. James Bamford, who was the occupant of the side-car, said defendant tooted the horn on approaching Carrum station and continued doing so. A train was just coming in. There was a lorry standing on the side of the road and as the cycle approached Meldrum stepped back. Bell was working at the machine as though something had gone wrong. The side-car was on the left hand side of the cycle. Frank Guy (recalled) said he still maintained that the side-car was on the left hand side of the cycle. The P.M. – We find defendant guilty.

We think he was too far over on his wrong side, and the pace was too fast. Remarking on the possibility of defendant having to bear civil damages (although a conviction was not necessary to establish civil liability) the Bench inflicted a fine of £3 with 30s costs. *** A DISASTROUS fire occurred in Hastings last Saturday, when the residence of Mr Phillips was destroyed by fire. The origin of the fire is a mystery. The whole of the furnishings, &c, to the value of £200, were reduced to ashes. Mr Phillips was at Sorrento when the fire occurred. *** THE Shire of Mornington is about to issue debentures for the raising of £10,000. The date of repayment covers a period of 20 years. The purpose for which the money is being borrowed is for the installation of an electric light and power plant at Mornington. *** A CORRESPONDENT writes: – It is rumored that some time ago a man and his three daughters, who were ailing, were recommended to take a drink of the Kananook Creek because of its “saline qualities.” In time, he died – likewise his fair daughters. This is what he arranged to have placed on his headstone: “Here lie I and my three daughters – all through drinking Kananook waters; if we had but stuck to Epsom Salts, we should not now be in these

vaults!”

*** REFERENCE to the Sorrento convict settlement in “The Standard” some issues ago, recalls the fact that “the wild white man,” William Buckley, whose life has formed the theme of many stories by novelists, was a convict at Sorrento. Buckley had been transported for attempting the life of the Duke of Kent at Gibraltar. Ignorant of the country, he and two others escaped from Sorrento, and “set out to walk to China”. But he got amongst the blacks and lived the simple life for 32 years before being discovered! *** MR and Mrs Bland Holt, of East Melbourne, motored through “our little village” a day or two ago en route for Sorrento, where they are staying with Miss Lucy Coppin at The Anchorage. Most old-time theatre-going people doubtlessly recall the days when George Coppin and Bland Holt were the shining lights in the theatrical firmament. *** MISS Mary O’Shea, a youthful Morningtonite, was one of the most successful students at the last Melbourne University examinations, passing in English, Latin, French, history, arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Miss O’Shea was prepared by the College of Our Lady of the Sea, Mornington. *** FROM the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 11 February 1921

Attention Schools, sporting clubs & community groups

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Western Port News

17 February 2021

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THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE... AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

Making a Spectacle of Myself By Stuart McCullough I’VE been wearing glasses for a long time. They became a necessity part way through high school and I embraced them in the hope that they might make me appear more intelligent and thoughtful. In retrospect, a more diligent approach to studying might have achieved much the same outcome. The thing about glasses is that once you start wearing them, there’s really no going back. My first pair of glasses were roundish gold frames, the closest I could find to those worn by John Lennon in the ‘White Album’ era. They were a wholly unusual choice for a fifteen year old in the mid-eighties. They were the kind of shape that – no matter what mood you were in – made you look slightly surprised. ‘Surprised’ and ‘intelligent’ are, sadly, not the same thing. No one mistook me for a former Beatle, either; and my guitar playing remained, at best, rudimentary. Nevertheless, these were the glasses that got me through high school and well into university. If roundish gold-rimmed glasses were an odd choice, my next pair was nothing short of baffling. For reasons that are lost to me now, I thought it was a good idea to get a pair of ‘half glasses’. These are the kind of frames over which a stern Magistrate might peer as a means of expressing incredulity towards some hapless defendant. They most definitely did not belong on the face of a second year university student. The effect was almost immediate. Fellow students gave me

a super-wide berth. Perhaps they were concerned that I might stare at them over the rim of my glasses – fact is, they never got close enough for me to ask. My spectacles were spectacular form of self-inflected social isolation. At a certain point, I must have tired of my half-glasses. Presumably I had

become somewhat pessimistic and concluded that my half glasses were half empty rather than half full. I aspired to something more conventional and yet striking. Either my next pair would be an expression of my personality or, alternatively, a substitute for not having a personality at all. I chose

black-rimmed glasses. The kind preferred by librarians everywhere. Presumably I had abandoned my teenage dream of being mistaken for a Beatle, preferring instead to be confused for a chartered accountant. They were remarkably effective. To this day, complete strangers slip their tax returns under my front door in the hope that I might assist them. This, of course, gives me little chance to explain the mix up. All I can say is that those people are in for a rude surprise when the ATO comes knocking. My eyesight is quite appalling. Colleagues who’ve caught a fleeting glimpse of the font-size on my phone, which I have set to ‘ginormous’, have noted as much. In fact, it’s getting worse the older I become. A while ago, I thought I might be going blind. However, a visit to an optometrist managed to simultaneously reassure and insult me when I was told it was a natural part of reaching middle age. Upon being reminded of my advancing years, I failed to see the point. That said, I failed to see anything much, which was why I was visiting the optometrist in the first place. The time had once again come for me to get my eyes tested. This involved staring at an eye chart and taking a flying guess at what the letters may be. I am concerned that – as a result of sheer chance – I might be guessing them correctly even if they appear to me as little smudges on a light bulb. If people can guess the lotto numbers then, in theory, there’s a chance – no matter how slim – that

I might be correctly identifying letters on the eye chart. What should happen is that you get some kind of score – like getting a test back with ticks and crosses - that way, I could disclose whether I stumbled upon the answer as a result of sheer, dumb luck. This time, however, the results were emphatic – it was time to update my prescription. Grasping both the nettle and my wallet, I decided it was time for a new set of frames also. The shop assistant was incredibly young and very, very trendy. His glasses told me as much. My instructions were simple – I wanted frames that were positioned somewhere between ‘edgy’ and ‘arts administrator.’ He’s seemed to understand what I was saying. The first pair were more like a sculpture than your routine face furniture. Had I picked them, I’d definitely be handing out money for some kind of avant-garde experimental dance troupe. I waved them away. The next were in a style that I would describe as ‘ironic nerd’. The difference between an ‘ironic nerd’ and a regular nerd is subtle yet spectacular. Either way, they screamed ‘part-time DJ, full time barista’. They would never do. Eventually, I settled on a pair of somewhat severe black-rimmed glasses. Kind of like my current ones but more so. Now that they’ve arrived, I can see things clearly. Glasses aren’t going to make me appear thoughtful, intelligent or like John Lennon. Ideally, they’ll make me look like, well, me. stuart@stuartmccullough.com

Western Port News

17 February 2021

PAGE 17


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Planning and Environment Act 1987 MORNINGTON PENINSULA PLANNING SCHEME Notice of the preparation of an amendment Amendment C269morn The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has prepared Amendment C269morn to the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme. The land affected by the amendment is within the commercial area of the Baxter town centre, generally bounded by the train line and Baxter-Tooradin Road, the commercial area on the corner of Sages Road and Frankston-Flinders Road, Baxter, 18 Thomas Street, Baxter and the land within the commercial area of the Somerville town centre along Eramosa Road West and Eramosa Road East, Station Street, Frankston-Flinders Road and Grant Road, Somerville. The amendment proposes to implement the Baxter and Somerville Structure Plans by introducing the Design and Development Overlay to the commercial areas of Baxter and Somerville to provide design and development guidance including height and setback controls and rezoning land at 18 Thomas Street, Baxter to the Commercial 1 Zone. You may inspect the amendment, any documents that support the amendment and the explanatory report about the amendment, free of charge, at: • the Mornington Peninsula Shire website at https://www.mornpen. vic.gov.au/Building-Planning/Strategic-Planning/Planning-SchemeAmendments; and • at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website www.planning.vic.gov.au/public-inspection. Any person who may be affected by the amendment may make a submission to the planning authority about the amendment. Submissions must be made in writing giving the submitter’s name and contact address, clearly stating the grounds on which the amendment is supported or opposed and indicating what changes (if any) the submitter wishes to make. Name and contact details of submitters are required for council to consider submissions and to notify such persons of the opportunity to attend council meetings and any public hearing held to consider submissions. The closing date for submissions is 2 April 2021 at 5pm. A submission must be sent to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council by: • Email (preferred) at strategic.admin@mornpen.vic.gov.au. Please use Amendment C269morn – submission in the email subject line. • Mail – Manager Strategic Planning, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Private Bag 1000, Rosebud 3939. The planning authority must make a copy of every submission available at its office and/or on its website for any person to inspect free of charge for two months after the amendment comes into operation or lapses. Katanya Barlow MANAGER STRATEGIC PLANNING

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scoreboard WESTERN PORT

Schwellinger’s promotion plan

SOCCER

By Craig MacKenzie TEAM formation, culture change and depth are the key elements of success according to Seaford United senior coach Peter Schwellinger. The former Melbourne Knights, Richmond and Langwarrin goalkeeper has coached at Frankston Pines, Old Carey, Melton Phoenix and Whittlesea United and success has walked handin-hand with him in recent years. Schwellinger took Whittlesea United from State 3 to State 1 North-West in successive seasons so he knows what it takes to climb through the leagues. “I want to use a formation that has won promotion for me previously,” he said. “I don’t know that I should talk about it too much but I can tell you it is pretty much a radical change from what we have been doing before. “I also want to try and cover each position. “That’s hard because it’s not easy to get two players for each position but to do that is a big thing for me.” Schwellinger took over the reins at Seaford late last year and has identified a lack of discipline and commitment at State 4 level that he has addressed. “Obviously discipline and commitment are part of your culture and they are just so important,” he said. “You have to train and you have to turn up at the right time and to train properly. “At our level players are often allowed to take it a bit easy but I’ve told the boys if they can’t train then don’t expect to get a spot in the team. “It’s not like you rock up once a week and expect to play because I don’t work like that.” So far the reaction of the players at North Seaford Reserve has been positive. “Yes I’m pleased with the way they have reacted. “When we played our first practice match against Hampton Park we only had a half a team but the Mount Eliza game a few days later was much, much different. “I had more players there and their response was encouraging. “I thought the players understood the system in the Wallace Cup and looked pretty good. “We should have won against Skye

Schwellinger’s system: Seaford United at the 2021 Wallace Cup with senior coach Peter Schwellinger (far left back row) and assistant Andy Lancaster (far right back row). Picture: Darryl Kennedy

who scored from a corner not from open play so my defence was very hard to break down. “Against Strikers I left out some key players and we did well. “We won that one and it was great to see some young players from the ressies who really stepped up and I think they understood the formation and what we are trying to do.” Schwellinger is keen to add two or three more players to his squad, perhaps a midfielder and a central defender. “I’m pretty happy with the squad from an attacking point of view and I’m pleased to see Tom Hogan back at training. “He’s a good player. He can play on the wing and he’s looking nippy and quite fit.” Schwellinger also confirmed that club great Andy Lancaster will assist him this year. Meanwhile on Tuesday last week Peninsula Strikers defeated Casey Comets 1-0 at Comets Stadium with a first-half goal from Jai Power. Power also hit the post, Nick Simmons hit the bar and Aaran Currie should have finished from a one-onone so there were lots of positives for

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“I’m very pleased to have Max with us,” Taylor said. “He’s worked really hard in his rehabilitation to get himself back into the game and to a similar level of fitness he had pre-injury and I’m sure he will be an integral part of our squad this season and beyond.” In State 4 South news Baxter will host the second Steve Driver Memorial Day at Baxter Park on Saturday. Long-serving clubman Driver lost his battle with cancer in September 2017. An intraclub match featuring past and present club members who knew Steve kicks off at 11am followed by the reserves and seniors pre-season practice matches against Brandon Park. At the request of the Driver family all proceeds from the day will again go to the Cancer Council. In other State 4 news Mark Pagliarulo (Rosebud), Cal Richardson (Pines) and Carlo Cardoso have been linked to a return to Somerville Eagles. They were part of the Eagles’ 2019 State 5 championship side but Cardoso lives in Elwood and it’s understood he was going to play locally last year before the season shutdown.

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Strikers gaffer Paul Williams. The following evening Mornington lost 3-0 to NPL heavyweight Bentleigh Greens at Dallas Brooks Park with Braedyn Crowley (2) and Will Bower scoring. On Thursday night Skye United lost 4-1 away to Endeavour United with Daniel Walsh scoring for the visitors. Skye used 21 players and a lot of rotations during the match but there still were seven senior players missing so head coach Phil McGuinness and assistant Stephen Duffy are going to have to make some tough decisions in coming weeks. The club expects a couple of new players to train shortly. In State 3 news Frankston Pines signed Max Boulton last week. The 23-year-old has been used in a wide midfield role during the preseason. He’s a former Langwarrin and Phillip Island player who did an ACL during the 2019 pre-season when training with Casey Comets and has not played a league game since. Pines head coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor coached Boulton at Langwarrin during the club’s inaugural NPL season in 2018.

Somerville player-coach David Greening gave a blunt response when asked if the rumour was true. “I can’t and won’t speculate on any rumours until such time as a player has signed for Somerville Eagles,” he said. “As a club we will be keeping things a lot more in-house and striving to do things more professionally moving forward.” In other news Victoria’s five-day coronavirus lockdown forced Football Victoria to suspend all football activity during that period. The FV announcement on Friday afternoon included “all organised competitions (Junior Boys’ NPL), all practice matches, club and/or player training sessions, refereeing training sessions, coaching courses, Talent ID camps and FV elite development programs.” The federation hopes to resume all football activity at the end of the lockdown period. In FFA Cup news Rosebud is unable to host this weekend’s home tie against Lara United and has been forced to play away. As we went to press no venue or kick-off time had been confirmed but the clash is expected to take place on Saturday restrictions permitting. This weekend’s scheduled FFA Cup qualifying round matches: SATURDAY: Aspendale Stingrays v Bundoora Utd (Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, pitch 2, 7.30pm), Mount Martha v East Kew (Civic Reserve, 2pm), Lara Utd v Rosebud (TBC). This week’s scheduled friendlies: THURSDAY: Frankston Pines v Beaumaris (Monterey Reserve, 7.30pm, reserves 6.15pm pitch 2). FRIDAY: Box Hill Utd v Mornington (Wembley Park, 7.30pm), Rosebud v Essendon Utd (Olympic Park, 7.30pm). SATURDAY: Nunawading City v Langwarrin (Mahoney’s Reserve, 11am, U21s 1.15pm, U19s 3.15pm), Frankston Pines v Croydon (Monterey Reserve, 5pm & 7pm), Seaford Utd v East Bentleigh (North Seaford Reserve, 1pm & 3pm), Baxter v Brandon Park (Baxter Park, 1pm & 3pm), Lyndale Utd v Chelsea (Lyndale Secondary College, 1pm & 3pm), Somerville Eagles v North Melbourne Athletic (Somerville Secondary College 3pm, reserves v South Springvale U21s 1pm).

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17 February 2021

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