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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 21 MAY 2020 NEXT ISSUE PUBLICATION DATE: WED 27 MAY 2020

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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

Community on board for buses Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au THE Better Buses campaign has been hailed as Mornington Peninsula Shire’s “most successful advocacy and community engagement to date”. The shire’s Quarterly Community Report: January-March 2020 said the campaign backed a push by public transport users for better bus services across the peninsula of which about 82 per cent is not serviced by public transport (“Shire’s push for better bus services” The News 2/9/19). “We have been overwhelmed by the level of community support for our Better Buses campaign. About 92,500 people have engaged with us,” the shire’s innovation and advocacy ex-

ecutive manager Tania Treasure said in the report released last week. “Since the campaign was launched we have met with the public transport minister [Melissa Horne] and communicated to government our overwhelming community feedback, [seeking] increased frequency, and better and expanded bus routes. “We continue our advocacy to the state government on behalf of our community to ensure Mornington Peninsula residents have the public transport system they deserve.” The campaign launched last September generated by 34 mentions in the media, including The News, daily papers and radio, which reached a potential audience of 444,000 people. Discussions were also held with

local MPs and by councillors in their regular community engagements as well as with officers of the Department of Transport. The shire’s community consultation with residents involved using pop-up sites at markets and shopping centres where the public response was said to be “overwhelmingly positive”. Based on this “high” level of community support the shire wants the state government to commit to providing improved bus services to the peninsula in the upcoming state budget. The aim is for a 50 per cent increase in bus frequency, 45 per cent better bus routes, and 40 per cent expanded bus routes.

Officers pounce on animal breaches ANIMAL management breaches prompted Mornington Peninsula Shire officers to issue 587 infringements during the first three months of the year. Data contained in the shire’s Quarterly Community Report: January-March 2020, released last week, shows that officers responded to 3215 animal management matters from January to March. During that period 147 cats were impounded at the shelter in Watt Road, Mornington, with only 50 found to be registered. Of these, 30 were returned to their owners, 31 were adopted through the shire’s adoption program, 30 were rehomed by rescue groups, and 35 were euthanised. All were registered at the time of their release. Of the 292 dogs impounded over the same period, only 150 were found to be registered – although, as with the cats, all were registered by their release date. Staff managed to reunite 274 dogs with their owners, nine were adopted through the shire’s adoption program,

three were rehomed by rescue groups and five were euthanised. Officers prosecuted 60 matters through the courts resulting in fines and costs of $57,000 being awarded to the shire. Matters prosecuted ranged from animal management to litter offences.

Tests for teachers TEACHERS and staff planning to be back at school next week are eligible for free coronavirus tests at: Rosebud Hospital, 10am-6pm Eleanora House (at the front of the hospital); Frankston Hospital; Atticus Health Medical Clinic, Hastings, by appointment only in the car park; and, Rosebud Skin Cancer Centre, by appointment only. For further advice call the 24-hour coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398 or a general practitioner.

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20 May 2020

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