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NEWS DESK

Track to put peninsula on tourist path Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au ALTHOUGH there is no chance of offering travellers a cathedral at the end of their journey, Michael Leeworthy believes a walking track on the Mornington Peninsula could gain some international popularity along the lines of the celebrated Camino de Santiago, which runs from France to Spain. Also known as the Way of St James, the Camino has four pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, north western Spain. Thousands of tourists follow the Camino de Santiago each year – or sections of it – either to see the sites or as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. Michael Leeworthy, an artist who runs a gallery at Red Hill, envisages combining three existing peninsula trails to form a 100 kilometre circuit that could be completed by “a very fit person� in three days or take school groups four days. But to achieve any sort of popularity the “Camino de Mornington Peninsula� needs a network of camping grounds and facilities. Mr Leeworthy says the peninsula “camino� – which can be translated as a path, track or journey – would involve joining the existing Two Bays, Coastal and Point Nepean and the Bays tracks. It would be called the Mornington Peninsula Walking Track. “In our little town of Red Hill I know of at least 10 men and women who have flown to France or Spain to walk the Camino,� Mr Leeworthy said. “I know of one gentleman who has been seven times and I personally have made the journey

on four occasions and have taken my son and daughters on separate occasions.â€? Mr Leeworthy said infrastructure made a difference. Other countries “understand the tourist dollar very wellâ€?, providing “modestâ€? accommodation for walkers and camping grounds. “The same could said for the Cradle Mountain track in Tasmania and the famous walking tracks in New Zealand ‌ not to forget Kokoda [Papua New Guinea].â€? Mr Leeworthy said Tasmania has “just released the Three Capes track and no doubt Australian and international walkers will be flocking there taking their tourist dollar with themâ€?. “The Great Ocean Road walk has proven to very popular with designated camping sites at regular intervals. “We have right here on the peninsula one of the most beautiful walking tracks in the world ‌ and it is easy to take it for granted as it is in our own backyard. “Although there has been a lot of work done in creating a map and website, what we don't have is designated camp sites. “What the peninsula walk has over many is that it is a circuit track ‌ the walker can finish where they have started.â€? Mr Leeworthy is lobbying Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors to back his plans to develop a track. “Our schoolchildren backpack around Wilsons Promontory and the Great Dividing Range, but this walk is so close and at 100 kilometres in length would prove to be very beneficial and a lot less expensive for the parents. “Europeans would come in our off season as our winter weather would seem balmy compared with theirs. “All we need are designated shelters, toilets and drinking water at convenient distances and the track will be really well used.â€?

Community, government aid to help bushfire victims Continued Page 1 “Then the wind changed. We had 10 minutes to get out. The fire was already on our property and there was fire on both sides of the road so we couldn’t get away.� After managing to drive close to the foreshore they were eventually given the all clear to go the fire station. “Someone mentioned our house had made it through ok. “We were so relieved. When we got to the CFA station we found out the truth. Our house was completely gone. We were in shock. Complete shock. When we went to the property there was nothing to salvage. It was completely gone. It’s a nightmare, but we’re taking it day by day.� Meanwhile, the government announced on Friday that Crib Point residents affected by the Monday 18 January bushfires could be eligible to receive $520 per adult and $260 per child – or up to $1300 a household – to help meet immediate

needs, such as emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items. The payments provide up to $32,500 per eligible household for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding the principal place of residence, and replacing some damaged contents. Also, bushfire victims will be able to arrange personal and financial counselling. Mornington Peninsula Shire and state agencies can seek assistance for the costs of clean-up operations and restoration of essential public assets. Anyone affected by the bushfires and suffering personal hardship and distress should call the Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line, 1300 799 232. General information about the assistance can be found at disasterassist.gov.au and through the Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria website, recovery.vic.gov.au or by calling 1300 799 232.

Little remains of The Esplanade, Crib Point, house lost in the 18 January fire. Picture: Gary Sissons

Trailblazer: Michael Leeworthy wants to attract tourists by creating a 100 kilometre walking circuit by linking three of the Mornington Peninsula’s existing walking tracks. Picture: Gary Sissons

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TRIBUTE TO OUR EMERGENCY SERVICES WORKERS On behalf of our community I would like to publicly thank our local emergency services workers, whose brave efforts continue to keep our community safe. We are very fortunate to live in an area that is protected by excellent ÀUHÀJKWHUVDQGRXWVWDQGLQJEULJDGHV This is the second year in a row that Crib Point lives and property have EHHQVDYHGIURPÀHUFHÀUHVE\WKH supreme efforts of a group of people and a change of weather. Our special gratitude at this time must go to our 150 CFA volunteer ÀUHÀJKWHUVZKRVXSSRUWHGE\ÀUH WDQNHUVDQGWKUHHÀUHÀJKWLQJDLUFUDIW fought bravely to contain a fast PRYLQJDQGDQRXWRIFRQWUROEXVKÀUH that started in The Esplanade area at Crib Point on 18 January. 7KHÀUHZKLSSHGXSE\VXGGHQ north easterly winds, burnt through approximately 85 hectares and at one stage threatened more than 20 homes and the HMAS Cerberus naval base. While one house was lost and two others were badly damaged, the quick DFWLRQVRIRXUÀUHÀJKWHUVSUHYHQWHG

WKHÀUHGRLQJDJUHDWGHDOPRUH damage. 7KHFDXVHRIWKHÀUHLVEHLQJ investigated. 9LFWRULD¡VYROXQWHHUÀUHÀJKWHUVKDYH a proud history of protecting our state and assisting Victorians during times of need, and we are grateful for their outstanding support again WKLVÀUHVHDVRQ On behalf of the community I commend our local and neighbouring CFA volunteers for their brave and tireless work and for yet again putting themselves between our community and danger. I would also like to thank everyone that came to the assistance of the Crib Point family that lost their home and belongings. Particular thanks goes to Wendy and Terry Kelly from Computer.Com at Shop 4, 53 Victoria Street, Hastings, who assisted the family to quickly reestablish communications through the generous donation of a much needed computer system. Neale Burgess MP, State Member for Hastings 6 Eramosa Road East, Somerville 3912 T: 5977 5600 F: 5977 7263 E: neale.burgess@parliament.vic.gov.au W: www.nealeburgess.com.au

Authorised by Neale Burgess, 6 Eramosa Road East , Somerville 3912 )XQGHGIURP(OHFWRUDWH2IĂ€FH &RPPXQLFDWLRQV%XGJHW Western Port News 2 February 2016

PAGE 5

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

2 February 2016  

Western Port News 2 February 2016

2 February 2016  

Western Port News 2 February 2016

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