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Wednesday 29 July 2020

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Dingo pups need a name

MOONLIT Sanctuary staff Ashley Herrod and Blaire Bunter with the sevenweek-old dingo pups. Picture: Gary Sissons

MOONLIT Sanctuary, Pearcedale is running a competition to name two seven-week-old alpine dingoes. All sanctuary workers are involved in getting the puppies accustomed to being around people because, due to COVID-19, there are no visitors to help the animals learn to interact with humans. “We can’t wait to share these two additions to the sanctuary with visitors once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted,” Life sciences manager Lisa Tuthill said. “Until then there will always be a staff member with them ready to play. Luckily, it’s such a fun job that we’ve had no complaints. “The dingoes play like regular puppies and are into everything they can reach.” The sanctuary is running a naming competition for the pups and the winner will receive a dingo puppy sponsorship, puppy encounter, dingo plush toy and a double pass to visit when it reopens. Moonlit is a wildlife conservation park and the new dingoes will help educate visitors about the importance of their species within the ecosystem and dispel myths that they are a pest. “The dingo plays an important role in the Australian ecosystem,” Moonlit owner and founder Michael Johnson said. “Research shows that dingoes keep at bay feral predators, like foxes and cats, and so protect many endangered species.” Details of the dingo naming competition are at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park facebook.com

Yawa tops public pool poll Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au AFTER treading water for months, Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors are expected to choose Yawa as the name of the $50 million aquatic centre being built at Rosebud. The Indigenous name meaning “to swim” came first in an online public poll run by the council. The decision to choose an Indigenous word follows months of debate and has cost an estimated $200,000 in delays and extra work for shire officers and consultants. Reacting to a vocal and seemingly powerful lobby group that wanted the name Rosebud Aquatic Centre, councillors in May deferred choosing an

Indigenous name and instead sought further public comment. That decision was made on National Sorry Day (Tuesday 26 May) and on the eve of National Reconciliation Week (“Shire’s ‘ugly’ Sorry Day decision” The News 1/6/20). However, “Rosebud” may get a mention when activity areas within the aquatic centre are named. Three other names - Barbawar, Gunawarra and Tides - may also be used within the centre. Yawa Aquatic Centre came first with 18,379 votes (2066 more than any other of the five short-listed names) in a public poll run by the shire. “This name aligns with the naming criteria as it is unique, memorable, positive and has endearing qualities,”

sport and recreation operations project manager director - place, Amy Frost said in a report to councillors at their Tuesday 28 July meeting. “The preferred name, Yawa Aquatic Centre, has strong links to the local area and celebrates local Indigenous language and culture. “The community commented that Yawa Aquatic Centre is simple, easy to say, spell, remember and reflects one of the main activities at the centre ‘to swim’.” In December 2019, the shire hired consultants Studio Binocular to help name and brand the aquatic centre, including seeking suggestions from the public, establishing a naming panel, running a naming workshop and then a review group. The findings were then

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to be given to councillors to decide. Public suggestions were called for on 3 February with a Have Your Say survey and resulted in 442 submissions along with opinions from the Bunurong Land Council and Boon Wurrung Foundation. Geographic Names Victoria cautioned against using “Peninsula” or “Rosebud”. Peninsula was effectively ruled out years ago when Frankston Council chose Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre for its multi-million dollar swimming complex. After deducting duplications and already-used names, 114 suggestions were handed to the naming panel. A series of votes by panel members saw the list pruned to 40, then 17, then 13, then five, with Yawa “agreed as the

preferred name”. Councillors were given the outcome on 17 March and, at a workshop on 30 April, agreed to a short list of three: Barbawar (stingray), Gunawarra (black swan) and Yawa (to swim). Fast forward to 26 May, when councillors, instead of voting on the three Indigenous names, at the suggestion of Cr Antonella Celi decided to again seek public comment, this time with the added “Rosebud” and “Tides”. In the final tally, Yawa was more than 2000 votes ahead of second choice Gunawarra and more than 3000 ahead of Rosebud. Ms Frost said Yawa (to swim) would enable the community to “instantly understand the connection between the Indigenous word and the centre”.

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Western Port News

29 July 2020


NEWS DESK

Groups align for path TWO Mornington volunteer groups are working on a plan to get residents out and about while unlocking the tourist potential of the peninsula. Along the way they are planning to complete one of the Peninsula Bay Trail’s missing links: the route from Moorooduc to Mornington. Mornington Community Safelink Group and Mornington Railway Preservation Society are promoting the shared bike and railway line trail which Safelink’s Graeme Rocke says will connect the residential, shopping, sporting, schools and work places of Mornington, Mount Eliza and Mount Martha. “Extending the current train service from Moorooduc station to Baxter and

the construction of a shared bike and pedestrian pathway from Moorooduc to Mornington, will create a bike and rail corridor for tourism, leisure and exercise, linking Mornington with Baxter, and beyond,” he said. “It will be a catalyst for year-round tourism on the peninsula with its forest areas, rugged coastlines, serene bay beaches, vineyards, rolling countryside with outstanding views.” Stephen Taylor On the same track: Mornington Community Safelink Group’s Graeme Rocke with Mornington Railway Preservation Society volunteer James Twining at Moorooduc Railway Station. Picture: Gary Sissons

Showing ‘respect’ by changing names Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire councillors have “an opportunity to pay respect” to First Nations people by dropping the name Blacks Camp from a reserve and kindergarten at Somerville. An archaeological investigation in 2004 found more than 200 artefacts and four Aboriginal sites and concluded that with the existence of fresh water there it had once been a substantial Aboriginal camp. The shire has been told that Blacks Camp is a derogatory term and offensive to the Bunurong Land Council and People of Aboriginal heritage. Pam Vercoe, the shire’s head of governance and legal, said non-Aboriginal residents and users of the reserve and kindergarten had also voiced concerns about the inappropriateness of the name. “It is likely that the road, reserve and kindergarten were named due to some knowledge of the habitation of this area by Aboriginal people,” she said in a report to council’s 28 July meeting. “The name Blacks Camp is a derogatory term that the shire has been advised is offensive to the traditional custodians of the Mornington Peninsula, the Bunurong Land Council and People of Aboriginal heritage.” Ms Vercoe said the Blacks Camp Pre-School committee agreed with changing the name and saw it as a “learning opportunity for the children and families to reflect the significance of the area”. The Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation provided a list of 17 names that could be used instead of Blacks Camp and the pre-school’s committee has suggested another two. Three names have made it to a short list that will be voted on by families involved with the pre-school. The three names are Turrum (she-oak); Beenap (manna gum); and Tillerkite (play). The Aboriginal corporation also suggested 17 names for the reserve and Blacks Camp Road which was shortened by councillors to six: Bobbinary (clan leader); Burinyong balug (Bunurong clan); Burrenum (clan leader); Decangery (locality); Mayone balug (Bunurong clan); and Worwong (locality). A public consultation and vote will be taken to help councillors eventually select a new name for the reserve and road.

A pre-school, a reserve and a street in Somerville may all be renamed because Blacks Camp is regarded as derogatory and offensive. Pictures: Gary Sissons

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Western Port News

29 July 2020


NEWS DESK

Wrong turn on narrow roads Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A MORNINGTON man is questioning the logic of having a primary school’s pick up and drop off areas blocking the town’s main arterial road between Moorooduc Highway and Peninsula Link. Ken McBride, a City of Knox councillor (1990-94) and deputy mayor (1994), was chairman of that city’s roads committee. He moved back to Mornington in December after previously living here some years ago. He says the absence has given him a fresh perspective. “To have a roundabout on an arterial road being the only way into and out of St Macartan’s Primary School seems a recipe for disaster,” he said. Mr McBride wrote to Mornington MP David Morris, Flinders MP and Health Minister Greg Hunt and Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO John Baker as well as shire councillors asking what plans were in place to upgrade roads in Mornington. Two weeks later he was still awaiting their responses. “I am concerned about the traffic congestion, particularly on Bungower and Mornington-Tyabb roads, at peak times morning and afternoon,” he said. “It appears to me that both these roads have remained basically unchanged for the past 100 years, but the population has escalated considerably in Mornington and adjacent suburbs. “Combined with this is the development of Eastlink and Peninsula Link which is great for the area, but it is

Traffic woes: Ken McBride is concerned about traffic congestion, particularly on Bungower and Mornington-Tyabb roads, Mornington. Picture: Gary Sissons

difficult to connect to Peninsula Link in peak times, especially between Nepean Highway and the Moorooduc Highway.” Mr McBride said ideally Bungower and Mornington-Tyabb Roads would be wider, duplicated carriageways, with a flyover or grade separation at the Moorooduc Highway intersections.

“Travelling on Bungower Road near St Macartan’s at drop off and pick up times is a nightmare with gridlock often occurring and driver frustration often leading to road rage and danger to vehicles and pedestrians,” he said. “The primary school opened in 2009 which is relatively recent and I wonder how local and state authorities could approve the design initially, yet not ad-

dress the escalating traffic congestion as the school population, local population and traffic volumes have grown exponentially since that time.” St Macartan’s principal Colleen McGreal said the school supported strategies that would “assist safe processes along Bungower Road, including those busy times at the beginning and end of the school day”. “While the school provides supervised onsite pick-up and drop-off zones, the busy-ness of a single lane can sometimes lead to non-school traffic feeling frustrated,” she said. “The school would be open to discussions with the shire in using our second exit gate to assist with traffic flow.” Mr McBride said it appeared the town planners had allowed for the future widening of Bungower Road. “I would have thought that traffic engineers could utilise the space in front of St Macartan’s Primary School to create a safer traffic flow,” he said. “As you know, Mornington is not connected to the Melbourne metropolitan rail network, therefore, local residents rely on the roads to get to work and all their other activities.” A Department of Transport spokesperson said: “We always welcome feedback from the community about how we can improve safety and traffic flow on our road network. “Potential future upgrades at this location will need to be developed in consideration of the broader regional arterial network to ensure the full benefit of any investments made is captured across the network.”

More testing sites TWO extra sites have opened to boost COVID-19 testing capacity on the Mornington Peninsula. Peninsula Health has opened a Dromana pop-up test site at Dromana Community Hall, 359 Point Nepean Road, Dromana. It’s open 8.30am3.30pm, Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 July. A Flinders pop-up test site is at Flinders Civic Hall, 54-56 Cook Street, Flinders. It’s open Thursday 30 July to Sunday 2 August with times to be advised. These are additional to existing testing clinics on the peninsula. Nepean MP Chris Brayne thanked members of the community for “following the rules during these difficult times and getting tested”. “Remember, if you have the slightest of symptoms, get tested,” he said. “If we continue to social distance, wear a mask, and get tested when we feel unwell, we will beat this virus.” Other Peninsula Health testing sites are at: www.peninsulahealth.org. au/2020/03/20/covid-19-coronavirusscreening-clinic-information/ On Monday (27 July) the peninsula, with 81 recorded cases (13 active) of COVID-19 was the 27th highest in the state’s 79 local government areas. Frankston with 77 cases (30 active) was 28th. The state recorded six new deaths due to COVID-19, following 10 on Sunday, the highest one-day tally in Australia. At the same time there were 532 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 8696. The Department of Health and Human Services does not release numbers for individual towns on the peninsula or Frankston city.

Have your say What are your thoughts on how Council manages community assets? You’re invited to have your say on how Mornington Peninsula Shire manages community assets and provide your thoughts on Council’s Asset Management Framework. Assets are fundamental in allowing the Shire to plan and deliver services to the community. The Shire is responsible for managing more than $2 billion worth of assets on behalf of the community, and must plan for their acquisition, operation, maintenance, renewal, upgrade, expansion and disposal.

How to have your say

These assets include: • bridges • buildings • drainage • marine structures • parks and streetscapes • pathways • recreation and leisure • roads • water sensitive urban design.

Hard copy forms are available upon request by phoning 1300 850 600.

Community consultation is currently open and closes 5pm Wednesday 12 August 2020.

Email your form with the subject line ‘Asset Management Framework’ to: haveyoursay@mornpen.vic.gov.au

Online mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay

Post Private Bag 1000, Rosebud, Victoria, 3939

Western Port News 29 July 2020

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NEWS DESK

Western Port

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Jewellery stolen ELEPHANT ornaments, jewellery depicting lions, a telescope and a security camera were stolen from a house at Rye, 14-17 July. Detective Senior Sergeant Miro Majstorovic, of Somerville CIU, said the offenders forced a glass door leading to the garage and ransacked the Collingwood Street house.

Cards say thanks ROSEBUD police have received a collection of hand-made cards and messages from students at Red Hill Consolidated School. Under the supervision of first-aid officer Louise Aston the students wrote the letters of gratitude to Mornington Peninsula’s first responders. “The children were talking about how sad everything is at the moment,” Ms Aston said. “We discussed this and then focused on some positive aspects. One of the major topics was how lucky we are to have such great people at Rosebud police looking after us – not only during coronavirus times but all the time. “The children decided to make “thank you” cards for our police men and women. We spent a few mornings with great concentration given to making sure the cards were bright and happy. “A lesson learnt was that when you do something nice for someone else it

makes you happy.” Sergeant Karl David said: “We loved your flower pictures and butterfly cut-outs. They are now displayed on our mess room wall for everyone to see.”

Entry hole BURGLARS cut a hole in the fence of a Hastings works depot and spent time searching through tool boxes before stealing a surfboard and a box of syringes, Friday 17 July. Detective Senior Sergeant Miro Majstorovic, of Somerville CIU, said staff at the DM Roads office in Pound Road were checking if anything else had been stolen.

Suspicious car fires

Stolen ute POLICE are searching for this restored Holden FB ute stolen from the Carrum Downs Shopping Centre, Thursday 2 July. Anyone seeing the vehicle with number plates 1QR4KO or who has information on its whereabouts should contact Crime Stoppers 1800

TWO vehicles were set alight in “suspicious” circumstances last week amid reports that youths were seen “running from the scene” at the time. Baxter Fire Brigade Captain Damian Willmott said his crews took 45 minutes to contain a blaze that destroyed a VW Amarok utility in Victoria Road, Langwarrin South, 10.30am, Tuesday 21 July. CFA crews from Pearcedale and Baxter responded to initial reports that the car was “dangerously close to a shed and fire was spreading into scrub”.

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

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Western Port News

29 July 2020

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Ryman to appeal council knockback Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

“Crews were quick with their initial knockdown stopping the spread of fire. The cause is unknown, and police are investigating. It was good work by all crews involved.” A ute parked near a power pole in East Road, Pearcedale, was destroyed by fire later that evening. “There was no one around when Pearcedale and Somerville CFA crews arrived and we can’t say how the fire started,” Captain Willmott said.

Random roadblocks POLICE set up various roadblocks to check driver compliance with the COVID-19 stage three restrictions last week. Mornington Peninsula and Frankston police say they will be “especially active over the coming weeks”.

RYMAN Healthcare will appeal against Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s rejection of its plans to build a residential aged care and retirement village in Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza. The New Zealand-based company said after its failed application that it would take its case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Victorian development manager David Laing said: “We were not surprised by the decision as councillors and staff had foreshadowed their opposition to the proposal, and we intend to take an appeal to VCAT. “As we’ve done from the outset, we’re constantly reviewing the community feedback on our plans and will consider further modifications to the proposal.” Mr Laing said retirement village at Mount Eliza was one of three proposed by Ryman for consideration by Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce. Ryman paid $40 million for the 8.9 hectare former Melbourne Business School site which is outside the urban growth boundary, on land intended as part of the green wedge, but within a special use zone. Its proposed $80 million development consists of six four-storey buildings, two four-storey wings attached to the existing mansion, three threestorey buildings, chapel and 362 car spaces. The buildings would house 272 apartments, including 55 assisted living units and 217 independent living units, and 124 aged care beds. Up to 400 people would live there. The shire’s principal planner Hugh Pierce said in his report to the planning services committee that the proposed development represented a “substan-

tial change to the subject site”. “The scale, siting and materiality … will result in an inappropriate design outcome that removes much of the site’s established vegetation and overwhelms the significance of the heritage place,” he said. “[It] represents an overdevelopment of the site that will detrimentally impact on the coastal character and visual and scenic qualities of the coastline from Port Phillip Bay.” Mr Pierce recommended the committee refuse the application on grounds including excessive vegetation removal, overdevelopment, and noncompliance with a range of design, scale, heritage and landscape regulations affecting the site and character of the area. Other concerns related to the number of car parking spaces, impact on the surrounding road network, including the intersection of Kunyung Road and Nepean Highway, and view loss from surrounding land. The high-density application has been a hot topic in Mt Eliza for months with social media in overdrive and a 1068-signature petition against it – as well as 33 letters of support – presented to council. The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said the council’s unanimous rejection of the application “reflects the significant community concern about the appropriateness of the development”. “Ultimately, in rejecting this, council’s aim is to protect the unique rural and green break between Mt Eliza and the township of Mornington,” he said. “We encourage the community to write to the Minister for Planning [Richard Wynne] to voice their objection to this application.”

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Governance Rules Mornington Peninsula Shire has developed new Governance Rules, in line with the new Local Government Act 2020. The draft Governance Rules address the following: • Conduct of meetings • Delegated Committee decision making • Council decisions • Conflict of interest disclosure • Election Period • Any other matters prescribed • Mayoral elections, including by the Regulations (yet to be length of term and appointment released). of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Acting Mayor You’re invited to have your say on the proposed Governance Rules.

How to have your say Community consultation opens Wednesday 29 July and closes 5pm Wednesday 12 August 2020.

Email your submission with the subject line ‘’Governance Rules’ to: haveyoursay@mornpen.vic.gov.au

Online To view the Governance Rules and to provide your thoughts visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay

Post Attention:Amanda Sapolu Re: Governance Rules, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Private Bag 1000, Rosebud, Victoria, 3939

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NEWS DESK

Dogs spooked by masks

The Lost Dogs’ Home says masks conceal facial expressions, which are one of the ways dogs communicate with humans. Masked-up owners are reporting changes to their dogs’ “happy go lucky personalities” and displays of “fearful behaviours”. “Traditionally dogs are creatures of habit, so instantly changing routine without a rational explanation can cause anxiety,” the home’s animal behaviour team leader Jade Curry said. As well as advising dog owners to “give them space and don’t force them to approach [ someone wearing a mask]”, Ms Curry said dogs should be counter-conditioned by being offered a treat “regardless of their behaviour”. “They will begin to associate scary people wearing masks with treats, which will change their emotional response from fear to excitement. “If a dog is particularly anxious or frightened by people wearing masks, this may impact their ability to interact with other dogs if they’re fearful of the person on the other end of the lead.” Another tip to get dogs used to seeing people in masks is to speak clearly as masks muffle voices and make it harder for them to pick up commands.

Pressure to keep Holden test site

PROTECTIVE masks may be inconvenient and even intimidating for some humans, but they can be downright confusing for dogs. Dog owners are reporting behavioural changes in their pets since wearing masks in public became mandatory as part of the battle to stop the spread of COVID-19.

THE Holden company may have left Australia, but moves are being made to preserve its former testing ground near Lang Lang “for wildlife and recreation”. Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council has joined with Save Holden Bushlands in calling on the state government to buy the area and open it to the public in much the same way that Devilbend Reservoir was saved from development. “Parks Victoria estimates Devilbend has about 50,000 visits a year,” WPPC secretary Kerri Giles said. “These large bits of bush help keep people healthy and happy and provide a great resource for schools and universities.” Ms Giles said the 877 hectare former test-

ing ground was a 40 minute drive from the Mornington Peninsula and estimated it could be worth $10 million in offsets to the Department of Transport for the Koo Wee Rup bypass. “This fits the bill because it is home to the southern brown bandicoot, or was in the last survey 10 years ago,” she said. “The ecological community is very excited because bush this size in this condition, with this many rare plants and animals, doesn’t come up for sale very often. This could be a very valuable asset.”

Working towards healthier males THE project Men and Boys Making It Happen on the Mornington Peninsula will receive $120,000 over two years from VicHealth. The project will follow the findings of the Jesuit Social Services study, The Man Box, into what it was like being a young man in Australia. The online survey of 1000 men aged 18-30 from across the country, as well as focus group discussions with two groups of young men, focused on their attitudes to manhood and male behaviours. The survey found that pressures to be a “real man” and to follow outdated stereotypes of masculinity was contributing to anxiety, depression, risky drinking and violence against women. Services provider Family Life will join Mornington Peninsula Shire and Jesuit Social Services to deliver training and education sessions to peninsula men and boys with the aim of “challenging unhealthy masculinities and breaking the stigma around men’s mental health”. The project is in the initial planning phase, but updates will be posted on the shire’s website as it progresses into awareness raising, engagement and education activities. For more information about the project contact community change manager at Family Life Jodie Belyea at jbelyea@familylife.com.au

Helping hand offer to tradies STAFF at mental health charity operating on the Mornington Peninsula say they have spoken to more than 1000 “tradies” over the past seven months to “see if they are OK”. As members of Hope Assistance Local Tradies (HALT), they promote the message that it is acceptable to ask for help when you need it, and that any stigma linked to mental health is slowly shifting as people accept that it is part of everyday life. The issue was highlighted last week with the death of former Hawthorn and Richmond player Shane Tuck, son of former Hawthorn great Michael Tuck, who took his own life when only aged 38. The HALT message stresses that mental health is our emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act and plays a role in determining the kinds

Rocks off, so ‘no Portsea beach for summer’ Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au ROCKS regarded as a vital to bringing sand back to Portsea’s badly eroded front beach have been removed. Their removal by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will ensure that “there’ll be no beach at Portsea” this summer, according to Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Sam Hearn. He said the shire was “deeply disappointed” the rocks had not been left at the beach to be used as the foundation for an offshore groyne (“Rock groyne ‘key’ to $20m Portsea beach plan” The News 29/6/20). “The shire had the concept scientifically modelled by coastal and ocean engineering consultancy Water Technology and the results indicated a groyne would promote an increased accumulation of sand and the restoration of the beach,” Cr Hearn said. He said the shire has been working directly with the state government through DELWP with the aim to bring sand permanently back to the beach. Repairs to the sandbag wall were a temporary solution to prevent further erosion had involved constructing protective a rock bund. Cr Hearn said the bund has “opened up the possibility” of using the rock to build a groyne “to encourage the beach to reform”. “Despite [the shire’s] best efforts to work with DELWP to realise this cost effective solution, the rock bund is being removed at significant expense to the taxpayer and we are back to square one.” “There’ll be no beach at Portsea for

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Western Port News

the community this summer and we are deeply disappointed that this sensible option has been rejected out of hand,” Cr Hearn said. The shire said that in September 2018, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio had confirmed her “pre-

29 July 2020

vious commitment to further investigate other options that will facilitate the return of the sandy beach at Portsea and note that the implementation of these repair works will not preclude the investigation or implementation of any other options which may be determined as being feasible

in returning a sandy beach to Portsea in the future.” Cr Hugh Fraser said the removal of the rocks “defies logic and is at odds with the Ms D’Ambrosio’s commitment for the government to investigate other options to bring the beach back”.

THE rocks used to protect sandbag works at Portsea are being removed, despite Mornington Peninsula Shire having a plan to use them to bring sand back for summer. Picture: Yanni


Keeping check: HALT project worker Mick Simmons with his van. The picture by Gary Sissons was taken before the wearing of masks became mandatory

of choices we make in our lives. Poor mental health can lead to poor choices. HALT project worker Mick Simmons said the charity was also targeting the younger demographic aged 12-25 which is being battered by restrictions and changed circumstances caused by COVID-19. “We have collaborated with Mornington Peninsula Youth Services and Headspace to create an extensive support service for the youth on the peninsula,” he said. “We are letting young people on the peninsula know they are not alone and that there are very good resources available to help them.” Mr Simmons said stresses exacerbated by the pandemic can come from home-schooling, cancellation of the usual sporting activities for footy, soccer, netball and basketball, and isolation from friends. “We want to show what support services there are during COVID-19 on the peninsula and how to access them. They are free and confidential.”

Survivor wants to help others

Don’t waste a display for art

TWO years after suffering a debilitating stroke, Paul Burns, of Mount Martha is ready to help other survivors of working age. The 44-year-old has joined the Stroke Foundation’s Young Stroke Project. Financed by the National Disability Insurance Agency, the project aims to help increase understanding of the needs of 18-65 year old stroke survivors, and develop information and resources to better meet their needs. “I had my own IT Consultancy Business, I was married with two kids and I was physically active with a background in Traditional Chinese Martial Arts when I had a stroke,” Mr Burns said. “My world went spectacularly pear shaped. I had to learn to walk again, my career came to a standstill and my family went through hell. It was incredibly challenging for all of us.” He suffered from fatigue, cognitive overload and memory issues but was not ready to retire. “I was just getting going,’’ he said, “I wanted to be inspired to make the best recovery possible, however the guidance I sought for someone at my stage of life was not available. I hope my involvement in this project will help make the journey smoother for others and ease the burden on their families.” The Young Stroke Project wants feedback from stroke survivors, their partners, families and friends along with health professionals and researchers on topics that need to be addressed. Details: youngstrokeproject.org.au/

Bin it: Josie Jones in her mermaid outfit with pet Honey dressed like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. The picture by Lisa Atkinson was taken before the wearing of masks was made compulsory.

GALLERY TALK Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery is currently closed to the public until further notice in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Even though the gallery doors are temporarily closed, we are continuing to share our collection, exhibitions, stories and children’s activities online. On the 1 July MPRG threw open our doors and welcomed visitors back to see our golden anniversary exhibition MPRG: FIFTY. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Gallery had to close again a week later and move its programming back online. The Gallery is excited to launch a new online platform MPRG TV, where you can watch exclusive content relating to our exhibition program. Enjoy watching a walkthrough of the new exhibition MPRG: FIFTY with Artistic Director/ Senior Curator Danny Lacy. This exhibition features dedicated collection rooms exploring historical and contemporary representations of the Mornington Peninsula and highlights the gallery’s renowned collection of works on paper that has been developed over the past 50 years. In our exhibition preview, you can also view an excerpt of a performance by the Peninsula Chamber Musicians in the Gallery performing Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D-Major, recorded prior to the lockdown.

We are premiering an artist studio conversation series on MPRG TV beginning 30 July, presenting contemporary artists from the MPRG Collection such as printmaker Raymond Arnold, painter Euan Macleod and virtual reality superstar Jess Johnson. These will be streamed weekly on a Thursday evening at 7.30pm. MPRG’s artist/educator Jill Anderson continues to inspire with her series of online creative activities for kids based on artists in MPRG’s collection. The latest activity includes creating a Danie Mellorinspired collage and paint a work on paper inspired by artists Rosie Weiss and GW Bot. Visit mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au/learn MPRG will also be launching a major collection publication featuring historical essays about the gallery and over 70 works reproduced from the Collection. This is available to order through our website. On behalf of all the team at MPRG, we hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and together we can all get through this by looking out for each other. Stay home, stay safe and stay inspired.

WITH state government restrictions urging everyone to stay home, Mornington Peninsula Shire is encouraging residents to paint their wheelie bins in any style they choose, drawing inspiration from their area or any part of the community. The competition was inspired by Josie Jones, 2020 Victorian Local Hero Australian of the Year and 2019 Mornington Peninsula Australia Day Citizen of the Year, along with artist Jackie Green who “brought her own bin to life”. Ms Jones took the idea to council as a way for residents to think about their community connection and taking care of the environment. Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Sam Hearn said one of the “best things” to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic had been seeing the community “stay connected and support each other”. To get involved in the bin-art project, participants will need to upload a photo of their painted bins to their own Instagram account tagging the shire’s Arts and Culture Instagram page (@mornpenartsandculture). Uploaded photos will need to include the hashtag #MPBINspiration. Photos will then be shared on the Arts and Culture Instagram page and the community can vote by “liking” a favourite bin design. The bin with the most “likes” will win a $150 Zero Waste Living Pack that includes a keep cup, reusable kitchen and shopping products and their choice out of a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bin. Keep up to date with entries by following #MPBINspiration on Instagram. Those without Instagram can message a photo of their bin design to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Arts and Culture Facebook account. Bin art entries close Monday 17 August.

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Wednesday, 29th July, 2020

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

‘Bungling’ premier

Exclude peninsula

COVID-19 and debt

Believing that [Victorian Premier] Daniel Andrews is doing a fine job is an insanity. He makes bungle after bungle in the handling of the coronavirus situation. All other premiers around the nation seem to be handling things well and not having to impose draconian lockdowns. To top it off our premier then turns and zones the Mornington Peninsula as Melbourne metropolitan (to gather more for the state coffers through such things as land tax) sending businesses broke. Geoff Ockleshaw, Rye

On the day the state government kindly included the Mornington Peninsula in metro Melbourne, we had zero COVID-19 cases. In the following 10 days that number became 11. Clearly this was a bad decision and should be quickly reversed before more city people come down here with their infections. I only hope adequate contact tracing is taking place on the peninsula to stop this insidious increase getting worse. Tina Bennett, Tyabb

Andrews should resign

It is wrong to put the entire blame for the COVID-19 explosion on those who are “sneaking out to parties” and the Aspen/Portsea crew, an event that occurred in March (“Confident in Andrews” Letters 14/7/20). Much worse has happened since then. What about the hotels’ fiasco, where untrained security guards and guests flouted lockdown rules? What about the breathtaking incompetence of ministers Pakula, Mikakos and Neville? What about the redacted emails? What about the Cedar meat works cover-up? Why was the first offer of assistance from the ADF knocked back? All of this happening while our state is up to its neck in scandals, most of which are being covered up. [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison has been working tirelessly to support the states and give assistance wherever it is needed, as well as coordinating with his cabinet, putting various financial and other packages in place to keep our nation afloat and facilitate funding for our bushfire victims. Daniel Andrews and his team have been a disaster for Victoria and the Mornington Peninsula. Kevin Cahalane, Mornington

Any type of debt is terrible, until now. True, we need to go into debt, but the scale of it, the necessary scale (indeed it should be more) at current interest rates, less than 1 per cent, is a given. What it shows up is the glaring (dazzling?) hypocrisy of the coalition government rubbishing Labor’s debt history dating back to Wayne Swan’s absolutely necessary survival mode action in response to the GFC. Even more interesting, as in something to look forward to, is all those Liberal voting letter writers who came in strong about Labor’s spending compliments of agreeing with anything and everything their political masters decreed? Hot, hot air, surely, and comedy. Add this to the wowsers coming in strong on gambling and alcohol, the stress levels, trauma, loss, grief, COVID-19 figures obviously, masks, the ever constant blamers and a lollipop AFL football competition, if nothing else, it makes our isolation bearable and interesting. Well done to our Mornington Peninsula News group. Cliff Ellen, Rye

There is a saying “if it’s too hot in the kitchen get out” and that is exactly what [Victorian Premier] Dan Andrews should do, resign. Five weeks ago, the commissioner for Emergency Victoria, Andrew Crisp, requested formally for 1000 ADF members to support the Victorian government in handling the then contentious issues evolving with coronavirus. This was then vetoed by the state government. Well, we now have close to 1300 personnel to assist in all categories of handling this virus, which was essentially allowed to fester through the lack of security within the quarantine hotels. What the bureaucrats of the Victorian Parliament were requesting was extra policing levels for these hotels. Once again, not required. This total bungling of security has now placed Victoria in a stage three lockdown which, had the government accepted advice and assistance, we would never have been in. The judicial inquiry, I feel, is gagged through the constrictions placed on it. We will never get a true picture of the events that took place. The federal inquiry into hotel security may show a clearer picture. My position is not that of a one-eyed supporter of any political party, but a person who can see the best and worst of all political persuasions. To not accept that this parliament has made mistakes, and bad one’s at that, is unbelievable, they need to be answerable to the community, which means to tell the truth as it is. If that is at all possible, then you may regain a little bit of respect. David Lines, Somerville

‘Advice’ ignored Out of apparent ignorance for the established facts some letter writers are claiming the Andrews government is doing a wonderful job running the state. On top of a litany of past scandals, the fiasco of the hotel quarantine and total incompetence with contact tracing, indicate an inability to follow federal health advice and total confusion as to what to do and how to do it. [Daniel] Andrews is the premier who would have us believe he is in charge. The health and economic consequences of his many mistakes point otherwise, to a total disaster for Victoria and all of Australia. Some admission of fault and an apology from this arrogant man would not go astray. Why has the Mornington Peninsula been included as metropolitan and locked down, unnecessarily impacting on our hard pressed small businesses while Geelong, which is closer to Melbourne and with much more viral illness, is rural? Kay Grey, Rye

Don’t mention mistakes

Princess came first I’m glad we’re amusing someone in these times, because COVID-19 is really nothing to laugh about is it (“Government at fault” Letters 22/7/20)? The current and ongoing outbreak is due to not the hotel quarantine mix up, but the Ruby Princess farce. [Victorian Premier] Dan Andrews hired reputable security firms to do the job, he had no control over the people the companies hired. The passengers on the Ruby Princess were released under cover of darkness by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Bjeriklian to go where they wanted, Victoria, NSW, Queensland, anywhere. I think [Home Affairs Minister Peter] Dutton was in there as well. We have the most cases so its fair game for the likes of [state Liberal leader] Michael O’Brien to blame and whinge about Dan Andrews. O’Brien has complained that we were playing “catch up” in regard to protecting the elderly, at the same time he didn’t offer a bipartisan solution to the problem. I notice that Morrison delivers his edicts from on high in NSW but, as its figures are starting to creep up, where’s he gonna go? There have been no figures from Hawaii, so he might go there. Until we, the people, accept the rules that are being handed down on the advice of the state medical officer by Dan Andrews, this virus is here until they manufacture a vaccine to kill it. John Cain, McCrae

Unions the answer By deriding unions, the Coalition parties have persuaded most workers that they should avoid them, and the Labor Party has failed to oppose this view. Working people are now experiencing what this has led to. Young people leaving school are delighted to get a job in one the most casualised workforces in the world only to find that they can’t make a living wage. This situation, in the Covid-19 pandemic, is one reason elderly people are dying in nursing homes. The casual workforce, common in nursing homes, cannot afford to take time off when they are sick because they do not get paid for it. If their sickness is the coronavirus, their turning up for work is deadly for the aged residents. Consider youth suicide today. Home ownership and rentals are now beyond the reach of the average wage earner and job security has disappeared. It must present a hopeless situation to the youth of today and some of them can’t cope. All Australian governments rely on immigration for economic growth but have failed to provide housing to accommodate more people while allowing foreigners to buy up our real estate and push up house prices. They try to keep values high so owners will not find they owe more than the house is worth. In my opinion every worker should join an appropriate trade union and those unions, once strengthened, should push for living wages and security for all. Perhaps then the politicians will employ departments to plan for a decent future. James McLoughlin, Balnarring

‘Wonderful’ tours Those of us on the Mornington Peninsula and many other Victorians who have been fortunate to travel with O’Shannessys and Daytripper Tours on many wonderful long and short tours do fully hope these operators are supported in this COVID-19 crisis (“Bus operators need assistance to stay on road” The News 22/7/20). We retirees are waiting and hoping for the eagerly awaited tours to begin again, but the

operators need support if that is to be case. Faye Atkinson, Rosebud

Save wildlife It is great to see the 60 kph speed limit along Boneo Road near Bushrangers Carpark reduced from 100kph, but why not continue this limit all year round to also prevent any wildlife being injured or killed on this stretch of road (“Slowing down at the Schanck” The News 13/7/20)? Bridgit Thomas, Capel Sound

Hard to respond I’m in the process of working my way through the EES (environmental effects statement) produced by AGL [for its planned gas import terminal at Crib Point]. With all the lockdown and travel restrictions around, it makes it difficult to get a good group effort going to make submissions. But just looking at the risk assessment by the producers of this EES for several different impacts of chlorine cold and hot water effects, possible spills from the process of turning the liquid gas into a gas again, I find many scenarios are possible to certain to occur, but not one word of additional monitoring or extra action to limit or eradicate these impacts on the environment are ever contemplated. I really think that the cavalier attitude to our environment by AGL is of great concern, especially in the light of AGL’s very shady track record of environmental and safety breaches and consequent financial penalties incurred. Is this really something we want to entertain for our beautiful Western Port and world renowned Ramsar wetlands? I will keep plugging away at the mindboggling 12,000 pages of reports but hope the [Planning] Minister [Richard Wynne] will see that this is not something to be allowed. Rupert Steiner, Balnarring

Council developments I am of the opinion that real estate agents and property developers should not be allowed to run for Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. As a resident of more than 70 years I have observed some major suspect developments in our shire made by past councillors, either with links with developers or real estate agents. In my opinion, we residents should be able to vote for all the councillors, voting similar to how the Senate or the Legislative Council in Victoria are elected. The residents in all wards, in particular the Watson Ward, should think very carefully who they vote for in the forthcoming election. Scrutinise the candidates very carefully, before you cast your vote please. Denise Hassett, Mt Martha

Time for a laugh Thank you, Stuart McCullough for your articles over the past few months - whether in response to the pandemic such as “Love in the time of corona” or the one about going back to The Cuckoo after 30 years. It’s been great to crack up laughing while reading them - and it’s not just my wacky sense of humour. When I’ve shown them to friends or colleagues, they have had the same response. Jill Stanszus, Mornington

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29 July 2020

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100 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK...

The peninsula’s future – ‘The Standard’s’ outlook endorsed Compiled by Cameron McCullough A CORRESPONDENT writes the following supplementary to the recent articles in Wayside Notes relative to the future of the Mornington Peninsula as a national asset: I would like to supplement the very picturesque account of Balnarring and other Peninsula districts that appeared in the “Standard” recently. It has always been a surprise to visitors from distant parts of the State to find that this district, lying, as it does, within the front gates of the great metropolis and its markets, has not made more progress, when it is considered that land of no more productive value and situated hundreds of miles away has been occupied and brought into profitable use. There can be no doubt that the lure of gold attracted people to the auriferous districts in the first place. Then followed the throwing open for selection of rich tracts of land suitable for grazing and grain production. As a result, throughout all the older settled districts, land values have now reached a high level, far above the reach of the land-seeker of moderate means. On the Peninsula there are yet thousands of acres of good timber country that can be purchased at a few pounds an acre. The want of roads has been one of the reasons why these fertile acres have not been occupied, and other reasons which appealed to intending purchasers. There are projects now being carried out, such as the construction of good metal roads, and a water supply that can be taken to any part, which will

help settlement. Melbourne is growing rapidly and with its growth it is pushing back the many market gardens, some 300 acres of which within 15 miles of Melbourne, have been recently put out of cultivation, and sold as building allotments. Some of these market gardens were earning a rent of £12 an acre per annum. In the process of expansion Melbourne is drawing Frankston way, and the early electrification of the railway to Frankston should induce an increased population. With all these happenings, an era of progress will set in when the great possibilities of the whole peninsula will be better understood. Look at the map of Victoria, and you will see that the peninsula occupies a unique and important position, and one which is not only of State importance, but should command attention in the broader outlook of the Commonwealth. Frankston, being geographically the commercial inlet, and outlet of the peninsula, occupies the key position, and must progress accordingly. Somerville also occupies a very favorable central position for the establishment of industries connected with fruit production. Apart from all these material aspects, there is a wonderful charm in the natural profusion of undergrowth and tangled wildwood to be met with, where many species of birds find a sanctuary, including the goldfinch, the more rare and very tiny mistletoe bird, and the emu wren, are occasionally to be seen.

Nature’s dower of a generous rainfall and insular climate make a congenial condition for plant life, and is a great contrast to the arid districts during dry spells or even an ordinary summer season. Although the peninsula as a whole is only gently undulating, there are many eminences from which charming views can be obtained. One at Baxter shows a wide valley dotted with homesteads, surrounded with pasture and cultivation paddocks, and showing many orchards, with the stately and towering pine trees to mark the spot and to add a fresh note of beauty to the landscape. Somerville, on an eminence, shows up as a neat and substantial settlement, having a background the silver sheen of the waters of Westernport Bay. Looking on this wide valley, one naturally thinks this is where Peace and Contentment must reign, for in all the surroundings there is not visible one false note to jar the harmony of a perfect rural scene. Coming nearer Frankston, on the hill, near the Golf Links, there is spread out a wonderful panorama of the bay and the seaside, towns, which is inconceivably grand, and has to be seen to be realized. *** AT the Malvern Court on Monday last, George Parnell was fined £2 for travelling to Frankston on May 16th on a ticket issued two days previously, on which the date had been mutilated. He declared that he bought it in that condition. *** OWING to continued ill health Mr C. W. Wood. has transferred his well

known business to Mrs Wood. The hairdressing saloon is under the capable management of Mr A. McKenzie. who saw active service in France with the A.I.F. *** MESSRS Brody and Mason will hold a clearing sale at Tyabb on Saturday next, 31st inst., on account of Mr. O’Neill. The sale commences at 1pm. Full particulars appear in advertisement. *** FEDERAL Income Tax returns are now due – all except businesses must be in by July 31st. Those who have businesses will need to send in not later than August 31st. Forms of return may be obtained at any Post Offices or from the Acting Deputy to Commissioner of Taxation, Elizabeth House, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. *** THE P.M, at Frankston advises us that a special motor mail now leaves Frankston every morning for Mornington at 9.30 o’clock. *** JUST as we were about to go to press, word was received from Mr Hooper, stating that all arrangements for Saturday’s pictures had been cancelled. *** MRS Dodd, who has taken over the Drapery and Millinery business lately carried on by Miss Nellie Thomson, has an announcement in this issue of interest to ladies. *** FOR the prizes presented by Mesrsr G. E. Rogers & Son at the last Band Euchre Party Mrs Murphy and Mr W.

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Deane were the successful contestants. The next social takes place on Thursday, July 29th. *** FRANKSTON Police Court Special interest attached to the proceedings at the Frankston Police Court on Monday last, when a young man named Cuttler was charged with stealing from a dwelling. Mr C. V. G. Williams (chairman) and Mr W. J. Oates, J’s.P. occupied the Bench. Senior Constable Bray conducted the prosecution. Accused, who is deaf and dumb, had the services of Mr Abrahams, of the Deaf and Dumb Institute, and the facility with which proceedings were conducted through the medium of language by signs was quite remarkable. Wilfred George Foster, railway line repairer at Langwarrin, deposed that during his absence in the city his residence was entered, and a bicycle, gold band ring and some money taken. Entry had been made through a bedroom window. The bicycle now in court was his property. Robert Wadsworth remembered accused coming to his wine cafe at Somerville on 4th July. Plain-clothes Constable Gallagher deposed to the arrest of accused near Morwell, when he was riding the stolen bicycle. Accused who pleaded guilty, and admitted two prior convictions in Tasmania, was sentenced to six months imprisonment. *** FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 23 July 1920

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Western Port News 29 July 2020


THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE... AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

The Adept Adaptor in the Age of Uncertainty By Stuart McCullough THESE are testing times. By ‘testing times’, I don’t mean in a ‘Naplan’ kind of way. Or even in a ‘pub test’ way, given they’re all currently closed. I mean that these are difficult times for everyone and there’s little choice but to suck it up and soldier on. Right now we’re living in a Leonard Cohen song. Not one of the pretty, romantic ones but the scary, apocalypsebefore-breakfast type of songs. But despite the gloom it’s also an opportunity. An opportunity to do things a little differently and to acquire new skills that – once upon a time such as February – would have been unthinkable. It’s a time for reflection, although preferably not in the bathroom mirror because the ‘ISO’ haircut can be horrifying. I’ll be honest - my relationship with hand sanitizer has changed forever. I’d never given much thought to hand sanitizer pre-pandemic. It was something I assumed was for Howard Hughestypes; germophobes who refused to open the curtains and kept raving about the Spruce Goose. Things are different now. I’m spraying that stuff into my palms pretty much every time I turn around. Bam! Squirt! Splash! I’m slamming that nozzle so often that my hands are practically drenched in the stuff. That said, it’s only recently that I took a look at the bottle and realized how much alcohol is in hand sanitizer. It’s a lot. So much alcohol, in fact, that if my hands were allowed to drive themselves around without me and were pulled over for a breath-test, they

would surely be over the limit. Such is the concentration of alcohol in hand sanitizer that my hands have started demanding a kebab when I least expect it. I’ll be at my desk when, suddenly, out of nowhere, a souvlaki appears along with a taxi. It’s extremely confusing. For months, I’ve been splashing this stuff all over my hands without a second thought. Then I had a second thought and read the warning on the bottle. There’s a lot of emphasis placed on how highly flammable it is. This goes a long way to explaining why my hands were catching alight every time I walked past the heater. Here I was thinking that spontaneous human combustion was simply a part of the ageing process, but it turns

out it’s simply the cost of really clean hands. I’ve learned a lot about video conferencing. The first thing I’ve come to appreciate that there are a lot of different video conferencing platforms and, over the past few months, I’ve come to know and love them all. My computer now has more platforms than Flinders Street Station. There’s ‘Teams’, ‘GoToMeetings’, and ‘Zoom’, which was the platform of choice but fell out of favour when it became apparent that security flaws enabled Vladimir Putin to turn up to your staff meeting. For those who like to keep things old school, there’s ‘Skype’ and the puzzlingly-named ‘Blue Jeans’ which, presumably, is for those who really

like the songs of Doctor Hook. I’ve also had cause to use ‘Cisco Webex’ which I quite like because it sounds like Spiderman delivering you a Margarita. Using these platforms has taught me a lot. Namely, that when I’m working from home and I put my dog in front of the camera, she’s a lot more popular with my colleagues than I am. The dog, in turn, has learned that if she slaps her paw on the keyboard, she can disconnect the camera. Which she likes to do over and over again because the people watching always react. I’ve also discovered that everyone I work with is more technologically adept than I am and can add all kinds of interesting backgrounds like beaches, street scenes and other things that are, to put it frankly, outside. I remember outside. Sigh. I’ve also become accustomed to ‘freeze face’. This occurs when you’re on a video conference and there’s a problem with your connection. Your face becomes frozen as though the wind just changed. Generally speaking, this occurs when your face is hideously contorted. When trapped in unpleasant discussions, I’ve taken to doing my own ‘face freeze’ to suggest that I’m no longer connected when, in actual fact, I’m simply no longer interested. Luckily, displaying an horrendously contorted facial expression is practically second nature for me. The next challenge will be masks. If we’re going to have to wear masks, we should do our best to make it something of an event. Which is

why I decided to try out one of those Rio Carnival masks. Mine is green, with rubies, glitter and topped off with a selection of Cassowary feathers. It makes leaving the house for one of the four essential reasons more a celebration than a chore. But no – turns out that my Carnival mask covers the wrong part of the face in that it leaves the mouth exposed. There are, as it turns out, no points for presentation. Technically speaking, putting a stocking over your head is compliant but, perhaps, too effective as a social distancing tool. As easy and plonking a pair of Razzamataz over your skull might be, it may make others feel ill at ease. In these difficult times, the world needs a hero. Not that all superheroes wear masks, but a lot of them do. But there’s a problem. Superheroes wear masks to conceal their identity, not cover their mouths. As much as the idea of dressing up as Batman to do my shopping is deeply appealing, it wasn’t going to get the job done. That said, there’s always Deadpool, but given that there’s a lot of Deadpool-movie activity these days, stepping outside my door dressed like him would result in an instantaneous ‘cease and desist’ letter from the appropriate Hollywood studio. Those people have no sense of humour. As is evident from the films they make. I think I have adapted to 2020 well. To be honest, I feel ready for anything. All I need is some hand sanitizer Bam! Squirt! Splash! stuart@stuartmccullough.com

Western Port News

29 July 2020

PAGE 19


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scoreboard WESTERN PORT

Mulder wants Eagles to soar SOCCER

By Craig MacKenzie WHEN Luke Mulder gazes into a crystal ball he sees his beloved Somerville Eagles thriving at a purpose-built facility five years from now. The 49-year-old father of four only joined the Eagles in 2017 but for the past three years he has been in charge of the fledgling club’s rollercoaster ride. No other club president in local soccer circles has had to navigate a safe passage through such turbulent waters. That’s because stunning onfield success and cyclonic off-field upheaval have shared top billing in the Somerville saga. Not to mention a pandemic and its effect on the 2020 season. Somerville’s 10th-placed finish in 2017, its inaugural venture into State League ranks, was followed by a fourth-placed finish in 2018 that provided the springboard for last year’s State 5 South championship triumph. Joint coaches Scott Morrison and Dave Greening, assisted by Stan Packer and goalkeeping coach Stuart Mitchell, celebrated the Eagles’ title with players, administrators and supporters when the final whistle blew on Saturday 31 August. That round 21 result confirmed the club’s promotion and celebrations continued after the last match of the season the following week. But few knew of the undercurrent of discontent that existed and when director of football Zach Peddersen confirmed two months later that the club would not be competing in the Wallace Cup that was the trigger that led to the departures of Morrison, Packer and Mitchell. Billy Rae was appointed senior coach in late December but a couple of months later Rae quit. No-one wanted to talk about Rae’s departure least of all Rae himself. The club didn’t even announce it on social media. Greening was appointed playercoach in May and shortly after Packer returned as his assistant only for Greening to walk out in June. It became a case of last man standing and that man was Packer. As we went to press he still is senior coach. Mulder’s response to such events is

Eagles’ elite: From left: Craig Bozelle (vice-president), Zach Peddersen (director of football), Luke Mulder (president), Kwan Mulder. Picture supplied

calm and considered and he is keen for Rae to return in some capacity. “Billy Rae was fantastic for this club and I would love him to be involved again,” Mulder said. “What happens at clubs is that people’s egos get in the way some times but I’m all about culture and you have to want to be part of our culture if you want to stay at our club. “All the uncertainty we’ve had hasn’t helped anything but remember we’ve only been going for four years and it can take time to find your feet.” Mulder wonders whether Somerville was prepared for the rise to State 4 ranks and sees a downside to last year’s success. “I don’t think we were really ready to be a State 4 club. “Winning last year and going up put pressure on us regarding facilities and obviously we don’t have the money to pay players. “In the short term we don’t want to pay players but we recognise if we want to go higher and compete then we’ll probably have to because that’s what every other club does. “Our vision is to have a club where

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switches to the more expensive synthetic option at the Secondary College. Barber Reserve is a training base for the seniors, juniors and women’s program and a matchday venue for juniors and women. “They (council) spent $500,000 on the clubrooms at Tyabb and they did a fair job on it,” Mulder said. “They’ve done up all the changerooms and the main area plus the decking. It’s very modern now.” Last week the office of federal health minister and Member for Flinders Greg Hunt confirmed that a $200,000 grant announced last year for a much-needed upgrade to Barber Reserve had been delivered to council coffers. “Greg Hunt came to training one night and probably bamboozled us a little bit when he asked us what we wanted. “We said we’d told council that we’d like the ground done up and they’d said ‘no’. “Then we said we’d like lights and council said ‘no’ again. “But this grant means a lot. “They are going to build a big outdoor shelter area which will be good to

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everyone gets a fair go and a fair opportunity to play sport but once you start paying players you get people who turn up for the money then leave. “From my limited time in the sport that’s the most frustrating part. “I love loyalty but obviously if a club gives you loyalty then you’ve got to give loyalty back and I don’t want to be a stop-off for those journeymen-type players. “I’m keen to continue to grow our junior side of the club even though we’ve grown so quickly in such a short time. “I think we need to look at more stable growth now. We need to look at ourselves and how we want to grow over the next four or five years rather than just look at next year. “I guess when you start up you want to become as big as you can as quickly as possible and that can hurt.” Currently Somerville migrates between three venues – Tyabb Central Reserve, Somerville Secondary College and Barber Reserve. The State 4 side plays home games at Tyabb but the surface there is dodgy and when it deteriorates the club

have somewhere to stay outside when it’s raining. “They’re also putting in new coaches boxes which is really for football not for soccer and they’re also redoing the carpark because it’s like a swamp there in winter. “Our main plan in the short term is to get the council to put drainage on Barber or Tyabb because they’re not drained at all and they’re classed as overflow grounds.” That’s not the only sticking point between club and shire council. “Last year the council put up $50,000 for a feasibility study to find a permanent home for us. “The money was to have a look at where council could buy some land and obviously build but at the moment we’ve had no news back as to the outcome of that study. “We’ve tried and tried but no-one can get back to us on that.” There’s better news on the Wallace Cup front though for Mulder is optimistic that Somerville will one day compete in the annual charity event. The Eagles are the only peninsula club that refuses to play in the tournament. It’s common knowledge that a longstanding personal feud is behind the impasse but there is mounting pressure on Somerville to take its place among other local clubs in celebrating the life of the late Langwarrin president Stephen Wallace and showcasing our sport and club camaraderie. “I believe that over time it will happen,” Mulder said. “Time heals a lot of things. “I want to unite with a lot of Mornington peninsula clubs and the Frankston clubs because our common threat should never ever be ourselves. “It should be other codes.”

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29 July 2020

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WESTERN PORT scoreboard

Early kick off has Avalon primed HORSE RACING

By Ben Triandafillou MORNINGTON-based racehorse trainer Shane Nichols is hoping an early start to his Group One winner, Streets of Avalon’s, preparation can pay dividends in the coming months. Nichols had Streets of Avalon kick off his preparation in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) on Saturday 25 July where the five-yearold gelding made a promising resumption to finish in second place behind the Godolphin-owned Viridine. “He ran super and presented really well,” trainer Shane Nichols said. “He looked the winner but Viridine just got up on the fence and he’s Group One placed over 1200m so it’s a pretty good horse but I’m ecstatic with the way he returned.” Nichols hopes the fitness advantage that Streets of Avalon takes into his subsequent runs can make a striking difference. “We’re trying to get the advantage over those horses resuming,” he said. “We’ll be just that little bit fitter” “He’s come through the run in really good shape – he’s bright and well. He’ll be primed for his next three and he’ll be absolutely at the top of his game.” Nichols is hopeful the gelding can get back to his elite form which saw him claim the $500,000 Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m) in February. With the 1200m run out of the way, Streets of Avalon will be targeted towards his pet distance of 1400m in his next few runs. “He’ll got to the P.B. Lawrence (1400m) in three weeks, the Memsie (1400m) two weeks after that and then the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes three weeks after that,” Nichols said. The son of Magnus currently stands with a record of 45 starts for 8 wins and 18 placings. He has earnt just shy of $1.25 million in prizemoney for connections.

Top return: Shane Nichols’ Streets of Avalon makes a top return to finish second in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes. Picture: Supplied

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Western Port News 29 July 2020


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