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Wednesday 28 July 2021

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THE contrast between the rooms (and shipping container) being used by Hastings Football Netball Club and the entrance to the Hastings Club could not be greater. Sports club stalwarts Ted Gent and John Coventry say they are neglected by Mornington Peninsula Shire because of The Hastings Club’s gambling machines. Pictures: Gary Sissons

Club ‘punished’ over pokies link Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au DESPITE being one of the Mornington Peninsula’s premier sporting clubs the Hastings Football Netball Club is doing it tough. The club, formed in 1897 as Hastings Football Club and playing in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League, says it cannot afford to maintain its grounds which are in a “poor state” in wet weather and provide suitable change rooms for all its

teams – especially in a COVID-19-affected environment. The club believes it is not being given help by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council because the social club – the Hastings Club - supposedly provides it with income from poker machines. The shire says its policy is not to support gambling venues. The football netball club, with its home ground at the Thomas Barclay oval, says it does not receive any income from the social club. It says an entry in the Hastings Club’s annual

report of $53,597 supposedly going to the sports club is the value of in-kind support – not cash – that the club contributes. “We have not had any income from the social club since 2017 so, in effect, we are being punished [by the council] for something for which we get no reward,” Hastings Football Netball Club president John Coventry says. Mr Coventry said the football and netball clubs were “certainly not advocates for gambling” but were clubs “trying to provide the best facilities we

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can to encourage juniors to play sport”. “We have had no work done on the change rooms and the grounds are in poor condition. We feel neglected and we are battling on our own with no support.” Hastings Football Netball Club treasurer and Hastings Club board member Kevin Miles said it was a “farcical idea that the football netball club is rolling in money”. He said income of $7000 to $9000 a month dried up after 2016 as habits changed and costs soared.

Mr Miles said pokies did not generate income like they used to. They were $1 to play with the 12 per cent “profit” being split three ways. The club previously received four per cent, but that figure had been cut to about 1.35 per cent by increased costs. The club paid wages to 30 people. Under its charter the social club also contributes to other groups, such as schools, book clubs, or a Probus club, which get a set amount, often paid in-kind, such as the use of a meeting room. Continued Page 4

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Western Port News

28 July 2021


NEWS DESK

Battery plan to ‘stabilise’ power supply Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A MULTI-MILLION dollar battery plant at Tyabb will aim to improve electricity grid reliability and network stability across the Mornington Peninsula. Australian renewable energy company Maoneng is behind the battery energy storage system – or BESS – to be built on privatelyowned land next to the Tyabb sub-station in Thornells Road. The plant will make money by drawing energy from the grid during off-peak periods when it is cheaper and storing it in batteries, and then dispatching it back to the grid during peak periods when it can charge a premium. Renewables development director Allison Hawke said this approach to buying and selling energy “meets the dual purpose of supporting a reliable electricity grid while encouraging new investment in these types of projects from companies like ours”. The plant is expected to provide 150 full time equivalent jobs during its 12 month construction, the company said. It will require one fulltime position after that. Plans for the plant are on public display as Maoneng seeks a builder. Completion is expected in 2022. The peninsula is subject to fluctuations in demand for electricity, primarily as a result of seasonal tourism, with diesel generators being brought in each summer to top up existing supply (“Diesel back-up on power cut days” The News 1/10/18). “Like diesel generators, batteries provide demand response to help manage excess power demand and excess generation,” Ms Hawke said. “Batteries charge when there is an oversupply of generation and a very low power price and discharge in times of high demand.

Power grab: This proposed battery plant at Tyabb will make money by buying electricity off-peak and selling it back into the grid on days of high demand. Picture: Supplied

“As the fuel source is very low compared to diesel, battery generation can bid into the power market at a lower price. Batteries therefore help to reduce the cost of running the network and maintaining power supply. “Back up diesel generation typically kicks in in times when all solar, wind, coal, gas and battery resources are exhausted and demand still exists – a very hot summer evening, for example.” Maoneng said its project had “no significant environmental impact concerns”. The company’s co-founder and CEO Morris Zhou said the Tyabb BESS represented an “important piece of the puzzle as Victoria’s renewable energy transition gathers pace”. “A vital part of the Victorian government’s Renewable Energy Action Plan is the integration

of energy storage,” he said. “Our facility directly supports this strategy and will play a key role in local grid stability. “As Australia’s electricity grid makes increasing use of renewable generation, we see a bright future for BESS projects. They provide numerous benefits by operating on a commercial basis to deliver long-term sustainable outcomes that support all stakeholders – from local businesses and communities to the state government, regulators and investors.” The Tyabb BESS public exhibition period follows the company’s recent submission of plans for a BESS at Gould Creek, near Adelaide. The proposed 225MWp/450MWh project is scheduled for completion mid-2023. The company says it has sponsorship support from the Department of Energy and Mining,.

Teens charged THREE teenagers spotted getting out of a stolen Audi at Hastings last week sparked a high-speed police pursuit all the way to Geelong. Southern Metro Region Crime Team detectives charged the trio following the alleged theft of three cars, Tuesday 20 July. A 14-year-old Dandenong boy was charged with 24 offences, including aggravated burglary, four counts of theft of motor vehicles, dangerous driving while being pursued by police, possessing a firearm and reckless conduct endangering life. Two 17-year-olds, a male and female from Cranbourne, were charged with 16 offences, including aggravated burglary, four counts of theft of motor vehicles and theft. All were remanded to appear before a children’s court at a later date. After ditching the stolen Audi, the teenagers allegedly got into a stolen blue BMW sedan at Hastings about 10am. The Audi was one of two cars stolen during an aggravated burglary in Balwyn North overnight while the BMW was taken from a Braeside car dealer. The detectives said the driver of the BMW refused to stop when police tried to intercept and sped off along the Monash, Westgate and Princes freeways before being nabbed on the Geelong Ring Road at Fyansford, 11.15am. Several police units and the Police Air Wing were involved and no motorists or police were injured. Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has dash-cam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or file a confidential report online at crimestoppersvic.com.au

Shots fired POLICE have been told “a number” of shots hit a garage door in Disney Street, 5.30am, Friday 23 July. No one was injured in the incident and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at //bit.ly/3BwvdBM

Western Port News

28 July 2021

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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 29 JULY 2021 NEXT ISSUE PUBLICATION DATE: WED 4 AUGUST 2021

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Continued from Page 1 Mr Miles said there was little left for the sporting clubs. One of the three foundation football clubs on the peninsula, along with Mornington and Frankston, Hastings feels like a poor relation despite 120odd years of sporting success, including 21 premierships and an honour board of past champions that includes VFL legend the late John Coleman. But that does not seem to carry much weight with the council, which recently provided new change rooms and shelters at both Crib Point and Tyabb football netball clubs. (“Pavilion with the lot” The News 13/7/21). Mornington Football Netball Club recently had a “massive rebuild”. Cerberus Ward’s Cr Lisa Dixon, who would not discuss the Hastings Football Netball Club’s plight, said when opening the revamped Crib Point facilities that the shire was “working to provide inclusive, accessible and functional … sporting facilities suitable for our clubs and the broader community”. Hastings Cricket Club treasurer and life member of the Hastings Football Club Ted Gent said talks with the shire seeking financial help over the past nine years had fallen on deaf ears. “We have been told that while [the social club] has pokies we will not get any help except for maintenance issues,” he said. “When we requested even portable huts we were told they had been allocated elsewhere, so our netballers still have nowhere to change except in the public toilets. “When we ask about providing coaches’ shelters [the shire has said] over the past few years that there is no

money in the budget.” Mr Gent said shire officers “regularly mislead us with information about basic maintenance issues regarding water not draining away”. “They inspect it when it has not rained for four weeks and then say there is no problem,” he said. “They tell us they are fixing issues, such as drainage, and when we inquire about the progress they say, it’s in next year’s budget. “Yet, the club’s rent has increased from $4000 to $16,000, with the cricket, football and junior football clubs also all paying rates.” Mr Gent and Mr Coventry describe the club’s female change facilities as a disgrace. “There are no rooms or even shelter for the netballers [other than a donated shipping container],” they said. “There are no showers for the girls’ football teams except in the men’s change rooms and we have to lock the doors to stop people walking in on them.” Despite the shire installing a new canteen in 2018/19 summer, the club’s drainage problems “have been going on for many years”, the men say. “Our club is being discriminated against by the shire because 50 years ago the founding members of the social club had the foresight to plan ahead to improve the club and [in 1991] install gaming machines,” Mr Gent said. “Many other clubs would be in the same position as we are if the state government had let clubs have pokies instead of pubs.” Mr Gent praised the social club for “paying well over the required minimum contribution to the whole community through various clubs/organi-

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Western Port

Club says it’s short-changed by shire

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Western Port News

28 July 2021

sations”. The shire’s acting manager infrastructure services, Tom HainesSutherland confirmed the council “has a policy of not supporting gambling venues”. “But this does not impact the support we offer Hastings Football Club to address maintenance issues related to the sports grounds,” he said. “Like many ovals on the peninsula, the Thomas Barclay oval has some drainage issues when we have heavy rainfall. “Our officers recently inspected the oval and our drainage team has offered to complete an investigation into the oval’s drainage system. Depending on the results, they may recommend upgrading the drainage system or other works and preparing a budget submission to the council’s capital works program for funding consideration.”

Plants for free PLANTS will be given away at Mornington Peninsula Shire’s nursery at The Briars from 25-27 August and from 1-4 September until stocks last. Those interested should bring proof of address to collect two indigenous tube stock which have been grown from locally sourced seed. Opening hours are Wednesday to Friday, 9am-3.30pm and Saturday 9am-1pm. The Briars is at 450 Nepean Highway, Mount Martha. The nursery is at the top of the hill near the car park and eco house. Details: mornpen.vic.gov.au/plants, call 5974 8417 or email: nursery@ mornpen.vic.gov.au


Shire wants ‘foreign ownership’ details Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au THE state and federal governments are being asked to consider establishing a database of land in Australia that is owned by overseas interests. The suggestion by Mornington Peninsula Shire is part of a request for information of foreign ownership of land on the peninsula, particularly in the green wedge and special use zones. Cr David Gill said he believed Australians had “a right to know about foreign ownership of our country”. “We have a right to know about land banking by foreign identities, especially by developers pushing to rezone and subdivide,” he said. “We should also know about lobby groups trying to exert influence over our various governments whose political parties still accept donations from self-interested land investors.” Cr Gill told The News that golf courses had been used as way to gain state government approval for “intensive residential development in the green wedge”. The decision at council’s 13 July meeting for information about foreign land ownership came five months after the defeat of a similar move by Cr Gill. At that stage Cr Sarah Race said moves to establish a database of foreign owned land within the peninsula’s green wedge areas “seems to have racist undertones” (“Shire shies away from ‘racist’ database” The News 8/2/21). “I’m very uncomfortable highlighting foreign ownership rather than generally,” she said. This time around - “by the slenderest of margins” - Cr Gill was supported by Crs Steve Holland, Paul Mercurio, Susan Bissinger, Debra Mar and Antonella Celi. Against the request were Crs

Anthony Marsh, Lisa Dixon, Sarah Race, Kerri McCafferty and the mayor Despi O’Connor. “In short, our community has a right to know what, where and how much land is controlled from overseas,” Cr Gill said. “I am glad that the more provocative opposed arguments [about racism] used during the last debate were not repeated. “I realise that there are Australian controlled entities who also land bank and pressure governments to change zonings, but to not allow our community to know how much land is foreign controlled seems incompatible with community standards in this day and age.” In February, Cr David Gill said having a database made sense following revelations about the millions of dollars in donations being made to political parties by land developers. “Finding out who makes donations and is putting pressure on politicians and who owns land in our municipality, state and country, is not racist. It’s a simply a matter of looking after our land.” “We were ignorant about Casey Council until it happened,” Cr Gill said in reference to the allegations of money changing hands and rezoning pressures highlighted by the Independent Broadbased Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC). At least two former shire councillors have been linked to the continuing investigation.

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Western Port News

28 July 2021

PAGE 5


NEWS DESK

Marsh ‘excited’ by trust ‘progress’ DESPITE facing community calls for his appointment to be reversed, Cr Anthony Marsh was “excited” to inform his Mornington Peninsula Shire Council colleagues that his application to join the Bass Park trust “has progressed”. The minutes of the council’s Tuesday 13 July meeting state that Cr Marsh “is hoping at the [27 July] council meeting to be able to advise that the appointment has been ratified”. Cr Marsh successfully nominated himself for the position on the trust held by Cr David Gill for the past four and a half years (“Trust says ‘no’ to council’s chosen delegate” The News 15/6/21). However, the trust - established nearly a century ago to protect land occupied by Flinders Golf Club from developers - asked council to reverse its choice. That request and another by Flinders Community Association was ignored by council. Members of the trust said they were “extremely disappointed” and said they believed the position should go to their local Red Hill ward councillor, who is Cr Gill. Cr Marsh represents Briars Ward, which is located in the northern peninsula. Cr Marsh said Cr Gill would be “absolutely welcome” to “to nominate for anything in Briars Ward”. “This lack of respect for the trustees is emphasised by council failing to in-

form the trustees directly and reflects badly on Mornington Peninsula Council, who are supposed to represent the local community,” the trustees stated. Flinders Community Association president Jo Monie, in a letter, said it was “essential” that the Red Hill Ward councillors remain on the trust “to defend the interests and concerns of our local community”. The trust has not met since Cr Marsh’s appointment by council. Keith Platt

Volunteer ideas COMMUNITY feedback will be used to inform the future direction of volunteering on the Mornington Peninsula. The feedback will help the shire learn how individuals and services can better access and improve volunteering roles. The shire wants to know what resources are being used to find out about volunteering roles and how community organisations are finding volunteers. Research has shown that many community organisations, especially those working with older age groups, have experienced large declines in volunteers during the pandemic. To participate in the research visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/volunteeringsurvey. Hard copy forms are also available on request at customer service centres.

JACLYN Jenkins with August and Jonas “at home” in the car to support Mornington Peninsula Shire’s plea for residents to spend a night in their cars to see what it feels like to be homeless. Picture: Supplied

‘Village’ approach to homelessness OVER the past year, 390 young people on the Mornington Peninsula sought help because they had nowhere to stay. Mornington Peninsula Shire is encouraging residents to try sleeping in their cars for one night to help draw attention to the homeless. “It takes a village” is the theme of this year’s Sleep In Your Car event organised by Fusion Mornington Peninsula as part of Homelessness Week 1-7 August. The event will go virtual from 5.30pm, Saturday 7 August as residents give up their beds for a night to sleep in their cars at home or in a tent in the backyard. “It’s so important to bring awareness to the issue of youth homeless-

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Western Port News

28 July 2021

Attention Schools, sporting clubs & community groups

Free advertising listings Each month the Westernport News will run a Community Events page, where your school or organisation can promote upcoming events, fund raisers, social events, etc. at no charge. This page is sponsored by the Balnarring & District Commuinity Bank, and listings are completely free.

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Send your listing to:

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Alliance, which advocates for state government-provided crisis accommodation and a tertiary education program for young people. Last year, the shire joined 13 other councils in the south east to form the Regional Local Government Homelessness and Social Housing Group Charter. The charter highlights the need for more social housing and a more effective and supported homelessness system. About 40 per cent of the 44,000 people on Victoria’s social housing wait list come from the south east and east Melbourne. Details and registrations at: mornpen.vic.gov.au/sleepinyourcar

Lisiting should be about 40 words and include event name, date, time & address.

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ness on our peninsula, especially during the winter months,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said. “We go home to our warm houses, yet there are hundreds of young people doing it tough. We encourage everyone to get involved and learn more – it takes a village.” Community involvement will include watching interactive online experiences, online live music and guest speakers explaining homelessness. By registering to raise money towards Fusion’s $27,000 target and sleeping out, participants will be supporting and assisting young people in need of a place to stay. The shire partnered with Fusion and 10 other organisations in the Youth 2

5977 5684 9781 5545

Community Events

PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or email communityevents@mpnews.com.au


Geelong takes the helm of state’s ports Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au THE centre of control for Victoria’s commercial ports, including Hastings, has moved from Melbourne to Geelong. The Port of Hastings’ harbourmaster Captain Shane Vedamuttu will remain based at Crib Point. The newly-formed Ports Victoria combines the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) and Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) and will control the strategic management and operation of the state’s commercial ports and waterways. The change follows an independent review of the ports system which included 60 recommendations and was handed to the state government in November 2020. The management move to Geelong comes four years after the Victorian Regional Channels Authority took over managing the Port of Hastings after it had been run by Patrick Ports Hastings, also known as Linx Stevedoring (“State resumes port control” The News 4/7/17). “Ports Victoria will ensure our ports operate in a smart, efficient way to support the sector, continue to grow our economy and create jobs,” Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne said. The review concluded there was no “immediate need” to change to the direct management of local ports but suggested there was merit in “examining how local ports could benefit from the maritime expertise of the commercial ports”. The review recommended Ports Victoria reinforce the harbourmaster role by “consolidating and clarifying lines of accountability for the ports of Melbourne, Geelong, Portland and Hastings”.

It also called for “stronger regulatory oversight of pilotage services to ensure adoption of safe operating practices and to support development of a robust performance-management framework”. “Ports Victoria will be responsible for ensuring licensed pilotage services are available to service arriving and departing vessels.” The Ports Victoria board is chaired by Howard Ronaldson, a former secretary of the departments of infrastructure and business and innovation. He has also been an administrator with Ambulance Victoria and most recently assessed the viability of the Port Rail Shuttle proposal for the Department of Transport. Elaine Carbines is the board’s deputy Chairperson for the board, which also includes Des Powell, Janice van Reyk and Peter Tuohey. About $26 billion of locally produced and manufactured exports pass through Victoria’s commercial ports each year and freight volumes are expected to more than double over the next 30 years. The review found that buffer controls for incompatible uses in the land surrounding the state’s commercial ports needed strengthening. It also “noted” the lack of adequate recognition and protection of land and access corridors needed for a future port at Bay West, which has been earmarked for the container port originally planned at Hastings. The most recent shipping list from the Port of Hastings shows that in the seven days from 16 July Western Port would be visited by four ships: the Daiwan Miracle, Sinndar, EOS Victory and Alexandros. The ships were carrying liquid gas and steel. The full response from government to the review will be released later this year. For a summary of the independent review’s findings, visit transport.vic.gov.au

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PAGE 7


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28 July 2021


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

Past and present reasons for living in Mornington As a longtime advocate for saving our environment l applaud the introduction of food waste in green waste bins (“Food scraps not to be wasted” The News 20/7/21). Along with reducing packaging, home composting and recycling soft plastics l now believe l should only need to have the land fill bin emptied once or twice a year. I do hope all residents will get on board with this council initiative. I am a proud member of Mornington and District Historical Society and applaud The News for its excellent “Celebrating 160 years of Mornington” in last week’s edition. l hope this souvenir promotion will inspire many lovers of Mornington to come and enjoy the Post Office Museum in coming months when we are able to “open up”. The museum has been closed this year as its collections needed to be packed up and stored off site whilst much required painting took place. Reopening has of course been hampered by lockdowns. If you are inspired by the rich history in the souvenir edition l hope readers will visit the museum on Sunday afternoons in coming months when current restrictions ease. Maybe even consider becoming a member of MDHS. Libby Gillingham, Mornington

Rubbish watch The first law of cheating on your neighbours is to ensure that they haven’t got a neighbourhood watch label on the front entrance. Second law is to remove any outstanding bills, cricket achievement certificates, toys and stale packaged foodstuffs. And the third law is not be caught.

Sadly, some wet behind the ears youngish person failed all three and even left poor Teddy bear among all the olives for all to see and forensically identify the lowlife for the police to follow up, the local cricket club to locate and the shire’s environmental protection department hit squad to prosecute. You’ll be glad to know that along with no fines for coveting our ratepayers paid for DVDs, CDs and those funny old fashioned papery things, yes books, Mornington Peninsula Shire has put your case in the too hard basket. You have survived the shame and local law penalties of being awarded the Crap Neighbour Award of the Year for our little backwater unmade road paradise in Woodlands. I am so pleased you got off your lazy butt and swept up your excess crap tout suite and retrieved your little possum’s well deserved team player award certificate because you are surely getting the Dingbat Award. I am personally available to train you in after dark dumping for a fee and ensure you that my wonderfully clean shire bins are being filmed with CCTV on Thursday, so please smile the next time, just for the record. Also be aware, should you make the mistake again of leaving whole shopping bags of unopened croissants, pies and doughnuts, please wrap them securely and add jam and butter. Ian Morrison, Mount Eliza

Stress relief I’d like to express my feelings for the man who, like me, was under stress at lunch time on Friday 25 June. Attending the emergency entrance at Frankston Hospital after leaving family members and being

unable to act as an advocate at a time when they needed one, all due to COVID restrictions. He asked if I was OK. I wasn’t. I’d had a previous bad experience at a local hospital in leaving a loved one who was left untreated until the next day when it was realised how serious his condition was, not being able to swallow or talk, with an as yet undiagnosed illness. After that I’d said I’d never again leave one of mine without an advocate. Here I was doing what I’d said I’d never do. The man had a real anguish too, leaving a younger son and I’ve thought of him ever since. I’d like to know if all turned out well for him. My husband is on the mend after two weeks in hospital and had the best of treatment. I’m grateful and thank that man for showing with a word that he cared for another. Philippians, chapter 2 verse 4 in the Bible says we should do that. He did this at a time when he was stressed, a rare thing. Paula Page, Rye

Cape of neglect The function of a local government authority is to meet the needs of all the citizens within its area of responsibility. However, since the establishment of the Mornington Peninsula Shire in 1994 the Cape Schanck community has received $120,000 of shire budgets. This allocation was for two secondhand bus shelters and a further allocation of $100,000, five years ago, for the development of a Cape Schanck Reserve, which has yet to be designed, let alone implemented. The Cape Schanck community forms part of, but is not currently connected to, a significant number of tourism attractions in the Mornington Peninsula National Park which surrounds the Cape Schanck settlement, benefitting the general Victorian public and the shire. The most recognisable asset of Cape Schanck is the Cape Schanck lighthouse which was the second lighthouse built in Victoria together with the prominent outcrop of Pulpit Rock at the very tip of the

cape as well as the very popular Bushrangers Bay, all of which attract over 350,000 visitors each year. In the past two [shire] budgets we sought an allocation for a feasibility study into the development of a track along Cape Schanck Road on the grounds of safety for local residents and tourists alike by connecting the road track to existing tracks in the national park. However, on both occasions our submissions were rejected. The Cape Schanck community does not need expensive sporting facilities, our needs are simple. We believe our needs are not being met by the shire. We will again submit our request for a feasibility study into a track down Cape Schanck Road in next year’s budget. Maybe on our third attempt we will be successful. Barrie Rimmer, president, Friends of Cape Schanck

Stepping back Terra Australis was a group of colonies in the 19th century. It became a federation in the 20th century. It appears to [have] returned to being a group of colonies in the 21st century Geoffrey Lane, Mornington

Changes needed I would like to thank Cr David Gill for instigating Mornington Peninsula Shire Council opposition to Ryman Healthcare’s proposal in Mount Eliza. David ensured that the VCAT position of council was about protecting our green wedge. Broad community support for this must not be overlooked. The state government Planning Minister [Richard Wynne] should now amend the planning scheme so that planning applications no longer allow loopholes that enable unacceptable developments in the green wedge zone. The VCAT decision, although a big win on amenity grounds, still allows inappropriate developments in the green wedge. Steve Karakitsos, president, South Eastern Centre for Sustainability

PANORAMIC view across Western Port from Hastings. Picture: Kacie Melfi

Input invited to update region’s strategy FEEDBACK is being invited on the draft Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy. The strategy, described as the key integrated framework to manage natural resources in the catchment, is being renewed for 2021-27 with public comment invited until Sunday 1 August. The Port Phillip and Western Port region has diverse and unique ecosystems while also being home to more than 75 per cent of Victoria’s population. They encompass urban Melbourne, growth centres on the urban fringe, highly-productive farm land, forested parks and ranges, and a network of rivers, wetlands and estuaries which flow into Port Phillip and Western Port. Challenges include climate change, increasing urbanisation, population growth and loss of biodiversity. The strategy has been developed in collaboration with traditional owners and regional agencies, organisations, groups and communities. The Port Phillip and Western Catchment Management Authority’s CEO David Buntine said this fourth strategy had been built on more than two decades of

collaborative achievements and lessons learnt. “The strategy brings together planning and information on land, water and biodiversity, demonstrating how these each connect across the region and at a local level,” he said. “We want to ensure the strategy reflects everyone’s priorities and aspirations for the environment and their role in looking after it.” He said the strategy described how land, water and biodiversity was managed across the region, as well as assessing its current condition and identifying targets for its future health. It also looks at how on-ground work will contribute to implementing government policies and targets, while incorporating the knowledge and priorities of local communities. Organisations and communities are invited to view the draft strategy and provide feedback by the cut-off date. The feedback will be reviewed, and the final version of the strategy submitted to the state government. See the strategy at portphillipwesternport.rcs.vic. gov.au

RED-necked avocets take flight over Western Port. Picture: Andrew Morrison Western Port News

28 July 2021

PAGE 9


NEWS DESK

Porsche drives the desert to save lives Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au TACKLING the Simpson Desert in a Porsche might seem a daunting challenge, but a group mates from Flinders believe the cause makes it all worthwhile. They are hoping to raise $100,000 for research – and, more importantly, greater awareness – of the fight against motor neuron disease. Tom Barr Smith, his son Tom, and five old friends, took off at the crack of a cold Flinders dawn, Saturday 10 July, in the 2003 C4S Porsche knowing it was a mad cap idea but oh so exciting for the 80-year-old Tom Barr Smith and his team of seven. They did not have any technical assistance, money or expertise behind them – just confidence that the sleek machine designed for highways could handle the unmade outback roads with ease. The route included an overnight stop at Burra and then on to Marree and the Oodnadatta track via William Creek and a night under the stars at Algbuckina Bridge. This enormous wrought iron structure built in 1867 is the only one on the Ghan Railway never to be breached by floods. The last pit stop was to be at Dalhousie Springs and then onto the Simpson Desert. What an adventure! Out of the desert it’s off to Birdsville where they will meet up with friends who will be flying up to meet them. From there they head through various private properties to Quinyambie,

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Western Port News

Outward bound: Tom Barr Smith Senior with Andrew Burgess, Tom Barr Smith Junior, and Andrew Nikakis, getting ready to head off on their fundraising drive to the Simpson Desert. Also in the team are Nick van de Merwe, John Beresford and Andrew Hardy. Picture: Supplied

Mulyungarie, on to Cockburn across the Barrier Highway, between Broken Hill and Adelaide, and on to Mutooroo station and back to Burra. There are no time schedules as the team has no idea how the unmodified Porsche will cope with the sand dunes. It could also be that the dunes are all right but the gibbers on the stony Cordillo country might roll along underneath and create some

28 July 2021

unplanned dilemma. “Tom and his mates are on a determined mission to complete this exciting journey and raise funds,” friend Mary Iles said. “The context to this venture is sad. Almost at the same time both Neale Danaher and Tom senior’s wife, Jenny, were diagnosed with MND. What the legendary Neale has achieved in the intervening time is amazing to all Australians.

“That Jenny hasn’t been here to help is a great sadness. She was among the 10 per cent of MND sufferers who have the ‘familial’ gene about which little was known when her mother and her aunt died of it many years ago. “This means Jenny’s children have a 50 per cent chance of getting it as well. The family have been staunch supporters of all Fight MND efforts

over the years – no less so now.” The team needs help, believing the world will be a better place if our “collective dollars” and scientists achieve a positive result, she said. The team has a target of $100,000, although Tom quipped: “For the record, we don’t mind beating it.” Donate to: hub.fightmnd.org.au/ fundraise-for-fightmnd/tom-tacklesthe-simpson-to-beat-the-beast/donate


100 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK...

‘Battle of Dromana’ - Carrum delegates ridicule reports Compiled by Cameron McCullough ON Thursday night, July 14th, the delegates of the Mornington Peninsula Football Association met at Copsey’s Hotel, Somerville, when the President (Cr P. McArthur) presided. Crs Rigby, Stephens, and Griffeth, and Messrs H. McCulloch, Cameron, Firth, Simcock, Wilkinson, Carigg, G. McLear, P. Floyd and Morphett were also present. Mr E. Laging (Carrum) wrote objecting to the repeated appointment of White as umpire for matches in which Carrum played. It was stated that White had umpired three Carrum matches successively – against Somerville and Hastings at Carrum and the match at Dromana. It was alleged that White permitted rough play without hindrance. Mr R. Clydesdale (Dromana) wrote objecting to umpires travelling to the various matches with competing teams, but nothing was done in the matter by the delegates. Umpire James (East Melbourne), wrote stating that he umpired the match between Dromana and Carrum and he reported Jim McLear (Dromana) for striking Tom Feavor (Carrum) with his clenched fist in a very cowardly way. There were no police present. Mr Lou Carigg (Dromana) – Well, that’s the limit! The audacity of James is incomprehensible! Why, he wasn’t there; it was Les White who umpired the match! Cr H. Rigby (Carrum) – None were more disgusted than we to see White at Dromana. Mr G. McLear (Dromana) – He

admitted to me that he was White, saying that James was seriously ill with pneumonia and couldn’t come. Mr H. McCulloch (Frankston) – As the man, James, was apparently never on the ground, we should not deal with the report. Mr McLear (Dromana) – As captain, he should have told me that he intended to report Jim McLear. The rules demand it, but he did not mention the matter to me. Mr Cameron (Frankston) – All we should do is find out who did umpire and report the matter to the League. Messrs Carigg and McCulloch moved to that effect. There were no dissentients. Mr Carrigg (Dromana) said that the match between Carrum and Dromana was the most disgraceful he had ever witnessed. Jim McLear was greatly provoked before he hit Feavor, who had deliberately charged “Bunny” Dyson. Jim McLear was one of the finest men on the peninsula, yet he was violently attacked with sticks and stones. Cr Stephens, (Carrum) – Oh, out it out! Mr Carrigg – Carrum was looking for gore all the time. (Laughter). I say they never should have been admitted to the Association. Mr Firth (Somerville) – But the Dromana delegates voted in favor of the Naval Base and Carrum being admitted! Mr G. McLear (Dromana) – I have nothing against the Carrum players. I blame the umpiring and one or two spectators for the whole trouble. Cr Griffeth (Mornington) – I voted to admit Carrum and the Naval

Base. I would do so again. My only complaint against Carrum is that they proved themselves “too hot” for Mornington. (Laughter) We are going to try and square things up when we meet next time. (Laughter). Cr Rigby (Carrum) – I am proud of the Carrum players and their supporters, and deeply resent Mr Carrigg’s imputations of cowardice. Mr Cameron (Frankston) – Carrum beat us fairly and square; we have no complaints to make. Mr McCulloch (Frankston) – Hear, hear. The matter then dropped. Mr Carrigg asked whether Johnston and Laidlaw, now playing with Carrum, were the same Johnston and Laidlaw who, with McAuly, were disqualified for life at Chelsea last season by the Federal Association? The President – I have no knowledge of the matter. Mr Carrigg – I am quoting from the Moorabbin “News,” which says players of the same name were rubbed out for life. Do the Carrum delegates know anything about it ? Cr Stephens – I know absolutely nothing about it. Cr Rigby – It’s a surprise to me. I will make it my business to investigate those charges. The President – It will be unfortunate for Carrum if they are – I don’t say they are the same players who were disqualified for life. In that case, Carrum would probably lose all their matches. Cr Griffeth moved, and Mr Carrigg seconded, that the secretary get particulars from the Federal Association and invite these two players to sign

a declaration that they were not disqualified for life; and that the matter be also referred to the League. *** MR P. Wheeler will give a lecturette on “A Trip to Fiji,” at the Frankston Progress Association meeting next Tuesday evening. *** WHEN the Railway Commissioners visited Frankston last week, they were met by the Shire President, (Cr Mason), and Crs Oates and Wells. Mr Clapp again assured the deputation that the electrification of the Frankston line would be completed by August next year, and in the meantime he did not propose to alter the running of trains to Frankston. Mr Clapp said he would take steps to obviate the blocking of the evening express outside the Frankston station and promised to enquire into the practicability of providing a traffic sub-way at Beach Street crossing. *** AT the quarterly meeting of the Peninsula Schools Committees Association, held on Wednesday night, at Frankston, (Cr W. Armstrong in the chair) it was decided to organise a combined picnic to Royal Park in November next. The shire president, Cr Mason, was present, and invited the committee to attend a meeting of the council’s subcommittee on Monday evening next to further consider the idea of securing an Elementary High School for the peninsula. *** THE gale last Friday night, from the effects of which Frankston escaped, wrought considerable damage, howev-

er, at Mornington, where the damage is estimated at £1500. The tide was one of the highest for many years, and the wind sweeping in from the north-west, with no obstacle to mitigate its force, drove the waves high up over the foreshore. At Fisherman’s Beach, Mornington, 44 bathing boxes were wrecked and washed away, and broken timber and wreckage were piled up in some places three feet high. Rowing boats were torn from their moorings and smashed to bits. At many points, the cliffs, undermined by the wind lashed waves, were eaten away to the extent of 8 or 10 feet. Even the massive stone coping of the sea wall at the pier could not withstand the onslaught. Though the blocks of stone were fastened together with heavy iron staples, they were lifted and all swept up on to the roadway and the pier, the decking of which suffered considerable damage. It has been suggested by residents along the peninsula bayside that since the deepening of the entrances to Port Phillip the volume of water and the rise and fall of the tide has increased considerably, and the erosion has consequently become greater. The steady encroachment of the sea has become more marked – what was a green sward at Mornington 10 years ago is now below high water mark – and experiences at Mornington prove that something will have to be done to prevent the inevitable ravages by the waves to public and private property. *** From the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 22 July 1921

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ACROSS 1. Shouting 4. Small crown 7. Appallingly 8. Wooden spike 9. Forward 12. Refugees 15. Hearing impairment 17. Adolescents

DOWN 1. Aged (of paper) 2. Sheriff 3. Hair-setting lotions 4. Child’s play objects 5. Shopping walkways 6. Gifted 10. Put off 11. Fizzy

13. Abated 14. Simple story lesson 16. Covered in earth 18. Mausoleum 19. Castrate (horse) 20. Fluid-filled pouches

Puzzles supplied by Lovatts Publications Pty Ltd www.lovattspuzzles.com See page 14 for solutions.

THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE... AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

Notes from the Bunker: Living La Vida Lockdown By Stuart McCullough THERE ought to be a term for it. For lack of an alternative, I’m going with ‘Pfizerized’. As of last week, that’s what I am. Not only did getting vaccinated give me some peace of mind, it also provided me with a legitimate reason for travelling further than five kilometres. I was so excited to be going anywhere that I hung my head out the window, kelpie-style, to enjoy to full sensory experience of motion. For I am not enjoying lockdown. Not at all. On Monday, I started to look forward to bin night. Which is on Wednesday. As a general rule, I consider bin night a chore; something that must not be forgotten rather than something for which I am breathlessly counting down the hours. After a week of lockdown, the idea of having a legitimate reason to walk down to the end of the driveway and back again was a giddy thrill I hoped would sustain me. Tuesday, in a word, was a surprise. As I made my morning commute – which now consists for walking from the kitchen to the study while trying not to spill my coffee – I felt I was being watching. As my head snapped upwards and I duly spilled my white with one all over the floorboards, I noticed a fox standing at my backdoor, staring in. For a moment, each of us looked at the other, unsure of what to do. There are foxes around the neighborhood, but this is the first time I’ve been stalked by one. Clearly, lockdown has emboldened the animal kingdom more generally. Sensing weakness, some of them have decided that now is the time to assert themselves and launch their take over. The fox seemed nonplussed

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Western Port News

and sauntered around the backyard before disappearing behind the shed. Possibly to get more foxes by way of reinforcement.

28 July 2021

Finally, the big day arrived. To make the most of it, I put on my dinner suit and casually strutted down the driveway with both the regular bin and re-

cycling bin. I live in an area where the local council gives you a regular sized recycling bin, but a smaller regular bin that is somewhere between an adult sized wheelie bin and a Coles minicollectible. It fits enough garbage; it’s just that to wheel it around, you’d ideally be no taller than four feet. Mind you, I’ve never met anyone from my local council who, for all I know, may all be Oompa Loompas. Despite the awkwardness of carrying my regular bin while rolling the recycling bin down the driveway, I found that my neighbors had put their bins out already. Meaning that I had completely squandered my only chance for meaningful human contact for the entire week. I resolved to message my neighbors and synchronize our watches so that, in future, we could make the most of one of the few sanctioned reasons for being outside. Thursday was the big one. That’s the day I’d allowed for take away food. Forget Uber Eats. I wanted the full experience of walking somewhere to pick up a meal. Masking up, I put a bag under my arm and began purposefully striding towards the main street; passing as I did, my empty bins which I hadn’t taken in because I was saving that for a special occasion. I was on a mission. I’m a big believer in the whole ‘QR Code’ thing. So much so, that I’ve installed them at the entry points to every room in my house, despite the fact that I live alone. Even an early morning trip to visit the water closet isn’t complete if I don’t scan in. You can’t be too careful. As I continued walking to the main drag, I clutched the phone in my pocket, ready to whip it out and

do my duty. As I approached the entrance, I pulled out my phone to find a message that said it was ‘disabled’ except if it was an emergency. This was unexpected. A phone is currently the passport to pretty much everything and I had no idea which buttons I’d inadvertently pushed to achieve this result. It was unclear how long this telephonic paralysis was going to last. I was also unsure whether picking up a kebab would constitute an emergency as such, although I was kind of peckish. Luckily, the phone unlocked itself and I was able to scan in and get dinner. Although, that said, there was a brief moment of awkwardness when I’m sure the person serving me said it would be ‘forty dollars’ which, unless you’re at an airport (and, let’s face it, none of us are), is quite a lot for a kebab. It then became apparent that between the mask and Perspex screen, I’d simply misheard him. As of Friday, the fox is yet to return. It’s another five days until bin night and there’s not a whole lot to look forward to. I’ve taken to wearing my dinner suit all day, every day. I can’t be sure, but I think it’s making other people in Zoom meetings feel uncomfortable. For now, though, I’m taking some assurance in being fully vaccinated and in knowing that others are keen to get theirs also. It will all be over soon. Or, at least, I hope so. We need to get out of this thing before the foxes get a chance to mobilize and take over once and for all. stuart@stuartmccullough.com


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PAGE 13


scoreboard WESTERN PORT

Whyte tips big finish for Strikers

SOCCER

By Craig MacKenzie ALEX Whyte is confident that Peninsula Strikers can finish the season in style. The 22-year-old is back at the club where his career kicked off and can’t wait for a season reboot. “I think we’ve been unlucky in the majority of our games this year,” Whyte said. “We’re just missing that one element that could turn our losses and draws into wins but I’m confident it’ll be coming soon. “We’ve got a lot of quality players and if we ever get back out there we can really finish the season strongly.” The fuse that could ignite the side and trigger a surge up the ladder may be star striker Ben Doree who is tipped to return after a brief spell with State 1 side Richmond. “Ben’s trained with us and he’d be a great acquisition for the second half of the season,” Whyte added. “But we need to give a 90-minute performance week-in week-out and where we end up on the ladder is entirely in our own hands.” Whyte started playing in Strikers’ under-7s before his link with coach Jean Dimanche took him to Richmond, South Melbourne and eventually Bentleigh Greens. “He took a group of us to all three clubs and also arranged an overseas tour to Italy when I was 15 where we played against a number of different teams. “When he took us to Bentleigh it was in the under-16s and I also played under Artour Kirichian, now at Springvale White Eagles, and Patrick Thompson in the under-20s who’s now with Kingston City.” Frankston Pines coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor was at Greens enjoying a successful stint as the club’s under-20s coach during Whyte’s progression to that level.

Aiming high: Alex Whyte in action for Peninsula Strikers earlier this season in an FFA Cup tie at Centenary Park. Picture: Darryl Kennedy

Taylor then joined Langwarrin for the 2018 season and that impacted on the youngster’s next move. “I’d hoped to get into Langwarrin’s senior squad but went with ‘Squizzy’ in the 20s to start out with. “I was seen as one of the older boys in the team which helped with my leadership and it definitely developed my game. “In 2019 I signed with the seniors under Scott (Miller) and Jamie (Skelly) and played half a season before joining Strikers. “Both Scott and Jamie thought that Strikers was a good option for me to test myself against men especially on the physical side of my game.”

Nichols’ gutsy gelding on track for Spring HORSE RACING

By Ben Triandafillou STREETS of Avalon is right on track for his Spring targets after running a gallant second in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday. The tough six-year-old gelding sat outside the leader in the day’s feature sprint and was one of the first horses to come off the bridle turning for home. Showing plenty of determination, Streets of Avalon didn’t give in under the pressure and fought off several challenges in the straight. But, a late dive from the Phillip Stokes-trained Sansom proved costly as the four-year-old gelding got his head down right on the line to nab

the victory. Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols said it was a huge first-up performance from his dual Group One winner. “He was very brave,” Nichols said. “It was just the bob of the head that was out of sync otherwise he probably wins but he’s on track for a very good spring as long as we can draw a gate and get good weather.” Despite the tough run, Nichols said the gelding has come through it in “really good shape”. Streets of Avalon will have a three-week break before heading back to Caulfield for the Group Two P.B Lawrence Stakes (1400m). If all goes well, he’ll head third-up into the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.

Out-bobbed: Shane Nichols’ Streets of Avalon finishes a narrow second to Sansom in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield. Picture: Supplied

Danny Verdun was in charge at Centenary Park when Whyte made the switch. “I really enjoyed my time under Danny and I’ll always be grateful to him for giving me my senior debut. “I went there to play week-in week-out and I was happy to do that in whatever role he gave me. “I started in midfield because there had been an injury to Jonny Guthrie and when he came back I switched to right back and finished the season at left back.” Verdun resigned and Paul Williams was appointed but COVID-19 shut down the 2020 season. When teams were allowed to start training again it ushered in an unusually lengthy pre-season. “I think we started back in late September or early October,” White said. “Paul started bringing in the players he wanted then we hit the track and were working pretty hard. “We were gathering momentum and started playing games early. “I think our first game was on 3 January and I think we played 11 or 12 games which was good for our fitness and helped us to gel together. “I thought we were looking really good and we were confident within ourselves of doing things then we’ve had this stop-start stuff which is unfortunate.” Despite the delays Whyte’s aims haven’t changed – aside from playing as long as he can he wants to continue to test himself. “One of my ambitions is to play at as high a level as possible and I’m going to continue to work hard and see what opportunities arise.

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Saturday 31 July, 3pm Mornington v Boroondara-Carey Eagles – Dallas Brooks Park Peninsula Strikers v Collingwood City – Centenary Park Hampton East Brighton v Frankston Pines – Dendy Park Baxter v Sandown Lions – Baxter Park Mount Martha v Rosebud – Civic Reserve Aspendale Stingrays v Bunyip District – Jack Grut Reserve Saturday 31 July, 4pm Goulburn Valley Suns v Langwarrin – John McEwen Reserve

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28 July 2021

Friday 30 July, 8.30pm Heatherton Utd v Skye Utd – Bosnia and Herzegovina Centre Chelsea v Seaford Utd – Edithvale Recreation Reserve FC Noble Hurricanes v Somerville Eagles – Alex Nelson Reserve

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“I need to improve my strength and my capability to win that second ball. “I still have to get used to playing against men but I’m getting there. “It’s not just about playing pretty football which is what most of my career has involved. “It’s also about hard work and putting your body on the line for the team.” In State 3 news Frankston Pines has been told by council that a return to Monterey Reserve has been targeted for April next year. The club’s usual home ground is undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover. Council also told Pines that its current joint tenancy of Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve may be extended to 2022 as Pines looks to expand its All Abilities program as well as developing junior programs involving two or three junior teams and MiniRoos. Meanwhile Football Victoria hopes to resume competition this weekend restrictions permitting. The state body emailed clubs on Friday explaining its intention to use every opportunity to return to competition as soon as possible and was hoping that it would get the green light from state government for a season reboot. FV’s competitions team is working on the fixtures with a view to completing a full season but stressed the ever-changing circumstances the sport faces and the need to be agile and flexible when reacting to them.

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