Western Port News 9 September 2020

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Wednesday 9 September 2020

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Hands that feed can be deadly

Picture: Celia Furt

IN what seems an unlikely scenario, birds, particularly seabirds, have become collateral victims to the coronavirus pandemic. Untold numbers of disposable but not biodegradable face masks are entering the environment, adding to the already overwhelming pollution of beaches and waterways. And people heading to the beach for exercise or just quiet contemplation, are offering birds tidbits and snacks that are not part of their normal diets. Processed foods, such as bread and mincemeat should not be on the menu. The birds may be killed out of kindness. Not only are discarded masks potential spreaders of the coronavirus (research shows that under certain conditions viruses can survive up to seven days on plastic masks), but they are also a danger to wildlife. If ingested, masks and other plastics swell and fill an animal’s stomach. Smaller animals can also become entangled in the masks. Photographer Celia Furt worries that pelicans at Hastings are being fed “highly toxic food”. The birds have long been a natural attraction at Hastings, readily taking cast-offs from fishers. But with the loss of those readily available morsels the birds are happy to try whatever is on offer. Furt has photographed pelicans being fed “pizza, bread, anything but fish”. “Since the lockdowns and the work that has been happening on the boat ramp, the fishermen can’t go fishing so the pelicans rely on humans to feed them. They hang out in the parking area with the seagulls,” she said. “The big issue is that pelicans only eat fish and they are only built to eat fish. If they eat bread or pizza or fries, they can’t digest it and, at the end of the day, it will kill them.” Keith Platt

Turbulence ahead despite aero club’s win Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au IF they were cleared for take-off, it is most likely members of Peninsula Aero Club would be waggling their plane’s wings or doing victory rolls after winning two skirmishes with Mornington Peninsula Shire over planning controls. In February, the Victorian Civil Appeals Tribunal overruled the shire and allowed a maintenance shed to be moved within the confines of the Tyabb airfield and last week VCAT ordered the shire to remove the so-called Holy Hour restriction on flying on Sunday mornings (“VCAT backs aero club against shire” The News 25/2/20).

However, the two wins against the shire are just the lead-up to a major dogfight next year to determine what activities can be carried out at the airfield at the corner of MorningtonTyabb and Stuart roads, Tyabb (“Shire, aero club head for VCAT showdown” The News 18/8/20. The Holy Hour, or Church Hour, ban on flying between 9.30am and 10.30am on Sundays was designed to make sure there was no noise disruption to parishioners attending services at All Saints Church. However, the church has not existed near the airfield since 1978 and, by its own admission, the PAC has allowed planes to take-off and land for at least the past 25 years. In her conclusion to the ruling is-

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sued last week, VCAT senior member Jeanette Rickards said the ban was redundant and enforcing it could lead to “an unforeseen increased impact on the amenity of the area” by take-offs starting at 7.30am to make sure they could return by 9.30am. Ms Rickards said that PAC president Jack Vevers had told the hearing that pilots unable to land before 9.30am could be forced to fly in a holding pattern over Tyabb. Mr Vevers had said that without air traffic controllers at the airfield, pilots had to “self-regulate their movements” … and if required to maintain a holding pattern “this could lead to low fuel reserves which in turn could lead to may-day calls due to less than planned fixed fuel reserves of 30/20 minutes



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council in its pursuit of clarity”. The ruling was “a small but important step in our ongoing quest to fix the current confusion about decades’ old permits”. Cr Hearn said a compulsory conference would be held at VCAT on 26 October with the final five-day hearing starting on 12 April next year. The shire’s “position statement” on the three key planning permits relating to the airfield is available: mornpen. vic.gov.au/tyabbairfield “Let’s sort this long running permit mess out once and for all so we can all move on to building a healthy PAC, a growing airfield and a well-informed community confident in its coexistence with the facility,” he said.

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for small aeroplanes and trigger a full emergency response”. In a news release headed “The Peninsula Aero Club wins in VCAT against the Shire … again”, Mr Vevers said the order for the “obsolete Church Hour condition” to be dropped “from all our permits” was “another significant win for PAC and everyone on the airport”. He said the ruling would “contribute to safety for pilots, maintain the current amenity for the community and help preserve the viability of this important asset for the community”. Mr Vevers said the VCAT decision “has paved the way to substantiate our contention that our airport operations are lawful uses under our permits”. The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said the VCAT decision was “welcomed by


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LAURA (Mum) STEVIE (7mths) “Being a first-time mum choosing a day care was heart-pounding and a case of “the mum guilt”. First Early Learning gave me the confidence that Stevie would love her time there. I love that Stevie gets to enjoy new spaces to explore, learn and play while socially interacting with other children and adults.”

NEWS DESK Gamblers ‘save’ $34m OBJECTORS to the floating import gas terminal proposed by AGL say that its nearly 3000 metre length and 40m height would dwarf anything In Western Port and have created this image to compare it to central Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station.

‘Emphatic no’ to gas plan Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au MOST of the more than 2000 Mornington Peninsula residents who voted in an online poll are opposed to power company AGL’s plans for a floating gas import terminal at Crib Point. The one-week poll held by Mornington Peninsula Shire showed 1932 (93 per cent) residents were against the plan compared to 131 being favour. The poll results follow the shire’s own opposition to the plan and the long running anti-gas terminal campaign by community group Save Westernport. “This emphatic response [through the online poll] from our community aligns with council’s position that the project poses an unacceptable risk to the environment for unproven economic and resource gains,” the mayor Cr Sam Hearn said. “The result also supports the feedback we’ve received expressing significant concern about environmental impacts and the over indus-

trialisation of Crib Point. “The community and council are in lock-step on this issue – we don’t want the AGL project to proceed.” Submissions regarding AGL’s environmental effects statement have now closed and the final decision on the gas terminal will be made by the state and federal governments. Councillor Kate Roper said: “The combination of Ramsar wetlands, migratory bird habitat, the UNESCO Western Port Biosphere Reserve and our special marine and coastal environment all add up to a unique mix of elements far too valuable to risk.” Cr David Gill said the state government should “finally listen to their community and scrapped this project before serious damage is done to Western Port, tourism, the fishing industry and people living and working at Crib Point”. He said the proposed pipeline from Crib Point to Pakenham would jeopardise the viability of farms “and essential food bowl products”. Save Westernport says “record numbers” of Victorians lodging submissions against the EES

include Australian Doctors for the Environment and Westernport Peninsula Protection Council. “Exact numbers have not been made available by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, but Environment Victoria estimates that well over 10,000 people made use of their online resources, and we’re aware of many thousands more who made a submission against AGL’s plans,” the group’s president Candy Van Rood said. In October, a panel selected by the Planning Minister Richard Wynne will hear expert witnesses from the community and AGL via video link due to COVID-19 restrictions. Ms Van Rood said Mr Wynne had decided to go ahead with the hearings “without explaining the need, or urgency of proceeding with this untested format” (“Calls to postpone debate over gas plan” The News 21/7/20). “People who wrote a submission will have to remotely address the Panel with their concerns about the proposal and the environment effects statement that AGL took two years to prepare,” she said.

MORE than $34 million has stayed in the pockets of Mornington Peninsula pokies players prevented from getting their gambling fix during COVID-19 restrictions. Poker machine players across Victoria have saved themselves $1 billion. “COVID-19 is presenting us with a unique opportunity to rethink the dire situation Australia has gotten itself into with the prevalence of gambling,” Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate the Reverend Tim Costello said. “Australians lost $25 billion gambling last year – the highest rate of losses per head in the entire world.” The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said gambling-related harm could affect health and community services, education institutions, workplaces and local businesses. “It can take a toll on our personal lives, too, damaging families and straining friendships, especially during these unprecedented times,” Cr Hearn said. “It’s important we support those who may be struggling and are more vulnerable to gambling harm. “Even though people can’t access poker machines during the lockdown, gambling is still accessible online, and we need to support others who may have stopped and are struggling with this change in behaviour.” The Rev Costello said: “Gambling harm impacts more people than most of us realise. The stigma associated with it often prevents people from speaking up or seeking help, and we must overcome this. “As an addictive product, gambling can be sought out by people to self-soothe during times of stress. Gambling is also known to increase during economic crises. This is a major concern right now.” If you or someone you know is experiencing issues with gambling, call Gambler’s Help 1800 858 858 or gamblershelp.com.au Stephen Taylor

Nominate a local hero

2021 Australia Day Local Awards The search is on to find Mornington Peninsula’s most dedicated, generous and community minded people. Do you know someone whose contribution to our community deserves to be recognised? Acknowledge their contribution by nominating them for the 2021 Australia Day Local Awards.

Nominate for: • Citizen of the Year • Young Citizen of the Year • Community Event of the Year Nominations are currently open and close Friday 6 November 2020.

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Western Port News 9 September 2020


“I’m fearful of brain damage.” June went from knowing she “didn’t feel quite right”, to 32 days in ICU. As coronavirus quickly took hold, medical staff believed she may not live through the first night and her husband was told to prepare for the worst. Luckily, June finally made it home, but the virus has left its mark. She is forgetful, has a weakness down her right side and nerve damage in her right hand. June’s plea is that we all stay home and help stop the spread of this virus. If you have symptoms - please get tested. Payments of $450 are available to help you stay home and wait for your test result.

To learn more of June’s story go to vic.gov.au/CORONAVIRUS Authorised and published by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne


Western Port News

9 September 2020


Businesses call for ‘recovery’ help Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A BUSINESS group wants Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to put a “roadmap” for economic recovery at the top of its priority list. The Committee for Mornington Peninsula says many local businesses are “on the brink” as a result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The group says it has “heard how the benefits of modest council relief measures do not represent a clear ‘road out’ for the local economy”. Also, that the many businesses in the retail, hospitality, visitor and leisure industries were “desperately awaiting a clear plan from the shire about how it aims to support a reboot of the local economy and businesses once COVID-19 restrictions are eased”. “The peninsula needs a local government plan that is timely and workable,” committee president Shannon Smit said. “Many hospitality and retail businesses are in desperate need of hope and a road out of these punishing business conditions.” Ms Smit wants to “activate” public spaces to support restaurants and cafes, create a COVID-19 business response and recovery taskforce, streamlined permit processes and fee reductions. Without a plan for summer “businesses are going to miss out on key opportunities in the recovery phase. Many will not survive.” Member Greg O’Donoghue, of Green Olive, Red Hill, said it was “extremely frustrat-

ing that the shire has a ‘tin ear’ to the voice of its local businesses”. “To date, the council has done nothing for the hospitality and tourism industry in the five months we have been shut down,” he said. “Without a clear plan and decisive action to improve local business conditions, we’ll end up with multiple businesses failing and unemployment for youth going past 20 per cent. Please give us the plan for business recovery.” The mayor Cr Sam Hearn – himself a small businessman “doing it tough” but still willing to cop a 20 per cent pay cut – defended the council’s performance in an “incredibly tough year”. “The shire has been very active … [in] supporting thousands of local families by literally putting food on their tables over the past six months, waiving fees and charges … and providing them with the urgently needed permits to change their business models, and reducing rate payments,” he said. “We are committed to keeping on doing these things for as long as is needed.” Cr Hearn said he and shire CEO John Baker had met with tourism boards, the CfMP, chambers of commerce and businesses to discuss maximising trade and revenue over summer. He said officers were finalising a business support “roadmap” encompassing measures the group was seeking to go before council for endorsement tonight [Tuesday 8 September]. “Adopting the plan would give businesses time to plan before for restrictions easing in summer.

Digging in: Parents with excavators are helping to build BMX tracks in reserves across the Mornington Peninsula.

Closures lead to DIY BMX tracks YOUNGSTERS are doing it for themselves following playgrounds and skate and BMX ramps being declared out of bounds because of the stage four coronavirus restrictions. Informal BMX ramps and accompanying bike tracks have sprung up across the Mornington Peninsula, many within protected bushland reserves and parks. But it’s not just enterprising youngsters digging in the build the BMX tracks. Parents have used excavators at Somers and Flinders to help their children build BMX tracks. The track at Flinders between the football oval and cemetery in Stokes Street “started with the kids just using spades … and has progressed through to parents using excavators and dumps of soil to create a huge

track complete with constructed wooden ramps”, one resident has told Mornington Peninsula Shire. The area is declared leash-free for dogs and the resident said that besides “the illegality of using council land like this” concerns had been raised about collisions between bikes and dogs and people falling into holes. Cr David Gill said BMX tracks were “happening everywhere. We can’t just say no, we need to help them find alternatives.” Executive manager infrastructure services Jessica Wingad said: “We are reviewing our response times and priorities for intervention. We understand the energy, creativity and enjoyment of those involved and will investigate longer-term options to respond to this need in a safe and collaborative way.”

We heard your feedback! Have Your Say on the updated draft Boatshed and Bathing Box Policy 2020 After extensive consultation with the community earlier this year, Council has incorporated your feedback and updated the draft Boatshed and Bathing Box Policy 2020. You’re now invited to provide your thoughts on the updated draft Policy.

The draft Policy aims to: • protect and improve coastal land for the benefit of all users, including boatshed and bathing box licensees. • set out the rights and responsibilities of boatshed and bathing box licensees. Changes implemented after community feedback include: • Licensee eligibility • Connection of utility services • Graffiti removal • Asbestos managemental • Renewal of licence at end of term.

How to have your say Second round community consultation closes 5pm Monday 21 September 2020. Online


Hard copy consultation forms available upon request. Email your submission with the subject line “Boatshed and Bathing Box Policy” to: haveyoursay@mornpen.vic.gov.au

Western Port News 9 September 2020



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 10 SEPTEMBER 2020 NEXT ISSUE PUBLICATION DATE: WED 16 SEPTEMBER 2020

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

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

Wastewater tested WASTEWATER being used on the Mornington Peninsula and pumped into the sea at the south-eastern outfall, near Gunnamatta is being checked and treated for the coronavirus. The Eastern Treatment Plant at Bangholme is one of the sampling sites established across Victoria as part of the ColoSSoS (Collaboration on Sewage Surveillance of SARSCoV-2) research project. The Department of Health and Human Services says New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey and other countries also test wastewater as part of their coronavirus surveillance. There are 25 sampling sites across state including the sewage treatment plant in Craigie Road, Mount Martha. The DHHS says 20 of the 80 COVID-19 cases linked to Frankston Hospital are still active. On Sunday (6 September) the peninsula had recorded 184 cases since the outbreak began, with 18 still active. Frankston had 229 cases (ever), 21 active. Earlier in the week TLC Healthcare said all staff and residents at its residential aged care home Forest Lodge in Frankston North had tested negative for COVID-19. CEO Lou Pascuzzi said it was disappointing that the DHHS had announced the investigation before test results were known. “This has caused significant distress among staff, residents and resident family members. However, this is consistent with the questionable approach that the DHHS and certain sections of the media have adopted, and continue to practice, in the management and reporting of COVID-19 in residential aged care.”

Have Your Say Mount Martha Public Golf Course Strategic Review Mornington Peninsula Shire, in partnership with @Leisure planners and WellPlayed, is inviting the community to work with us to develop a vision and plan for the Mount Martha Public Golf Course.


Confirmed cases (ever)

Active cases (current)





Mount Martha








Mount Eliza




Rosebud, Boneo, Cape Schanck, Fingal Hastings, Tuerong











Arthurs Seat, Dromana, Safety Beach Sorrento











Capel Sound




St Andrews Beach, Tootgarook, Rye Somers



















Crib Point




Balnarring, Balnarring Beach, Merricks Beach, Merricks North Moorooduc











Main Ridge




Shoreham, Point Leo, Merricks




HMAS Cerberus




Red Hill, Red Hill South









Cases by postcode on the Mornington Peninsula as of Saturday 5 September show the location as the residential address provided when the case was notified and may not be where they were infected and may not be where the case currently resides.

Attention Schools, sporting clubs & community groups

Free advertising listings

We want to know: • What do you value about the open space and the golf course? • How could the golf course, the service its offers and the open space generally be improved? • What are the issues, challenges and opportunities that the strategic plan needs to address? • Thinking about future generations, what is your vision for this site?

How to Have Your Say Fill in the survey online at: mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay Hard copy forms are available upon request by phoning 1300 850 600

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.

Send your listing to:

Community Events

For more information email:



Western Port News

9 September 2020

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

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Taste what you’re missing

Producers from across the Peninsula have been busy creating delicious new products for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. We’ve curated a collection of local cafes, restaurants, bakeries, breweries and bars who are proudly offering online ordering and contactless delivery services. Visit our website to buy online direct from the finest producers and growers across the Peninsula. Stock your pantry with fresh local-produce, and treat yourself to take-away tapas, or even wine tastings at home. Support the local businesses you love, and get a taste of what you’ve truly been missing.

visitmp.org PAGE 8

Western Port News

9 September 2020

The Mornington Peninsula needs an economic recovery plan for the future

– Yo u c an he l p.

The Committee for Mornington Peninsula (CfMP) is encouraging the community and local businesses to contact their local Mornington Peninsula Shire Councillor/s asking them to urgently release a roadmap for economic recovery for the Mornington Peninsula as its major priority. Many local businesses report being ‘on the brink’ as a result of COVID-pandemic containment restrictions, and even more so following the Premiers announcement on Sunday of continued restrictions. The CfMP has heard how the benefits of modest Council relief measures do not represent a clear ‘road out’ for the local economy. With many businesses struggling to survive in the retail, hospitality, visitor and leisure industries they are desperately awaiting a clear plan from the Shire about how it aims to support a reboot of the local economy once current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are eased. President for the CfMP, Shannon Smit said “the Mornington Peninsula needs a local government plan that is timely and workable. I would urge the current Councillors to ensure this piece of work is done prior to the Council entering caretaker mode for the upcoming election “Ms Smit said.

“Summer is around the corner and the CfMP is concerned that with no plan in place, Mornington Peninsula businesses are going to miss out on key opportunities in the recovery phase. A handbrake on summer trade and missed opportunities to commence recovery will mean many great Mornington Peninsula Businesses will not survive. With our hospitality businesses not being able to have a sense of normal trade until after 23 November due to the current Victoria Government restrictions it is important they can hit the ground running at that time and local solutions will help significantly ”, Ms Smit said. How can you help? The CfMP are encouraging the business community to contact their local Councillor/s demanding priority be given to a timely and workable recovery plan to support a ‘road out’ of the COVID-19 pandemic for the business community. Councillor and MP contact details can be found at: www.committeeformp.com.au/news-and-media/ calls-for-urgent-road-out-plan-to-support-forpeninsula-businesses-on-the-brink/

“We have proposed the activation of public spaces to support restaurants and cafes, creating a COVID-19 Business Response and Recovery Taskforce to provide advice and assistance and for Council to support the business community with streamlined permit processes and fee reductions”. “Hearing that the Council has some of its own ideas is encouraging, but we have not seen a willing embrace of employer and business community input and no sign of a clear plan that gives our job-creators some hope and certainty that the Council has them front-of-mind and is going to assist them”.



Western Port News

9 September 2020



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

Hypocritical to complain about visiting ‘outsiders’ It is remarkable that many people on the Mornington Peninsula are still complaining about people from Melbourne, tourists and city people in an us versus them rhetoric. Spare me. Those doing the constant complaining must never travel into the city to watch a game of football at the MCG. They must never have gone shopping in the “big smoke” or view the Myer windows at Christmas. They must never venture out into the big wide world to enjoy the many other things that Victoria, indeed the country, have to offer. If they did, they would have to be the worst type of hypocrite. The peninsula does not belong to you simply because you live here. You cannot barricade yourselves in and prevent all others from entering. Have you ever thought what would happen to the peninsula if “city folk” stopped coming? Businesses rely on tourism, particularly seasonal tourism. They rely on people jumping on Peninsula Link and moseying on down to the beach and spending their money. Quite frankly, some business would not be able to open year round if they didn’t have the tourists to prop up their margins. The signs I have seen erected at the beaches are shameful. The constant whinging is tiresome. People who own holiday houses also pay rates. As far as I am concerned, they can and should be welcomed. For the record, I grew up here and I live in Rye. Kristie Cronin, Rye

Crab the opportunity Celebration of the annual moulting aggregations of the Australian giant spider crabs in the shallow waters accessible to the general public has long been a winter tourism drawcard for our region and, over decades, has become a spontaneous part of Mornington Peninsula’s culture and tradition. The growing SOS #saveourspidercrabs campaign (with a petition supported by more than 33,500 signatures) would love to see the vision of a celebration, education and conservation-focussed spider crab festival realised (“Festival links to crabs with cuttlefish” The News 2/9/20). For decades locals, interstate and overseas visitors and film crews have flocked to the Mornington Peninsula in winter to witness the wondrous spectacle of the moulting of the spider crabs. With both local tourism and the crabs themselves having come under significant threat over the past season, now is the perfect time to start planning events that will benefit businesses in the region by safeguarding and celebrating this unique natural tourist attraction. For a MornPen Under the Sea festival based at Rye, think parades, face painting, film screenings, marine life talks at the pub, image and art exhibitions, carnival attractions, a marine-life themed education week for peninsula schools, with the spectacular natural phenomenon of moulting aggregations of the spider crabs as a special bonus highlight if we get the timing right. Never before has the Mornington Peninsula needed such an amazing event to look forward to for years to come more than we do now. This is an amazing opportunity for this region, let’s make it happen. PT Hirschfield, founder Spider Crabs Melbourne

Aged care neglect Why does it take the coronavirus to prove beyond doubt that a shortage of staff, in private nursing homes particularly, is the cause of neglect? In about 2003, there was a royal commission into aged care when the number of residents per staff member was increased. These same nursing staff are now also expected to multitask and be responsible for the considerable amount of paperwork, with less time to do it. How can you expect staff to have sufficient time to give residents the daily necessities required, not to mention the obvious special care necessary to those with failing health or mobility. Another issue, quite separate, is the quality of food. Elderly people need less, but of a higher


Western Port News

9 September 2020

quality. We do not need another expensive royal commission. Nothing improved after the last one. Private nursing homes are going up at an amazing rate, obviously the need is there. Owners who operate these centres are making a considerable profit at the expense of residents who are at a disadvantage. Bearing in mind, owners could not afford to extend their portfolio otherwise. The magic dollar has a lot to answer for, and their conscience. Margaret Gordon, Frankston South

Let nature prevail It seems to me that there is a disproportionate response to COVID-19. In Australia, only 20 people under the age of 60 have died. There is, what I think, an unfixable problem in the aged care sector – which I call heaven’s waiting room. In my opinion we should remove the lockdown restrictions and let nature take its course and let the younger generation get their lives back to normal. This year is not unprecedented, as the media want us to believe. The ABC reported on 11 February: “While 2019 saw the highest number of influenza cases across the country, 2017 still holds the record for the highest number of flurelated deaths, with over 1100 cases. Last year there were over 900 influenza linked deaths in Australia”. Currently at 600 deaths nationally, the death toll this year is not unprecedented – but the level of media exposure and the enforced lockdowns certainly are. Graeme Hector Willis, Mount Eliza

Andrews maligned It is quite unsurprising that the Labor government haters who go on about [Premier Daniel] Andrews’ mismanagement, mistakes, or worse, denigration, yet make no attempt to actually examine these ‘“errors”. The fact apparently that the prime minister [Scott Morrison] favoured self-isolation for quarantining rather than what all states did, that is using security guards. NSW used a mixture of police and security guards. Was that the first mistake? Was relying on returned travellers behaving correctly another mistake? Or that guards misbehaving, government mismanagement? Did you expect Dan Andrews to be patrolling hotel corridors at 2am to ensure compliance? Another “error”? Apparently, Victoria Police preferred the government using security guards because the police, already stretched with the COVID-19 crises, did not want to act as babysitters for returning travellers who, after all, were not criminals. The common thread of fierce critics of Andrews seems to be that he should not have relied on ordinary citizens to behave correctly. What was the alternative? So, critics, please explain in detail what you would have done differently? Michael Davy, Rosebud

‘Scurrilous behaviour’ Thank you for providing such a good service in keeping Mornington Peninsula people informed. It made me sad that you had to publicise some truly scurrilous behaviour by people who have taken misinformation to a “beyond Trump” dimension (“Video flies in face of poll rules” The News 2/9/20). I think Cr David Gill has represented the Red Hill Ward very well over the past few years and was instrumental in encouraging a more collegiate Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, in spite of the inexperience of many councillors after the last council election. Cr Gill also performed very effectively as mayor and was extremely responsive when local issues required action or negotiation. Peter Monie, Flinders

Video a joke Now, Cr David Gill and [Mornington Peninsula Shire] mayor [Cr Sam] Hearn are crying fowl [sic] about a video (“Video flies in face of poll rules” The News 2/9/20).

They need to get serious. This is a spoof, a mockumentary. It was not made with any input from the Peninsula Aero Club. Look at the mocking issues that were mentioned: the [Rosebud] pool fiasco; farm gate sales; the wall [at The Pillars, Mount Martha]; VCAT/planning; speed limits; rural rates; beach box fees. But no, they come out pointing the finger at Peninsula Aero Club. Shame on them. And yes, we are fighting back tooth and nail against what we view as an unlawful and unjustified attack on our right to exist. To me this mockumentary was a rare comic interlude. Rolfe Summerhayes, Mornington Editor: The writer is listed as a director on the Peninsula Aero Club website.

Information lacking Brewis Atkinson claims to speak on behalf of the majority of Tyabb residents regarding proposed limits on Tyabb airfield (“Umpire to decide” Letters 2/9/20). I believe nothing could be further from the truth. He claims to have conducted an “extensive survey” of Tyabb residents but fails to mention his survey seems to have ignored legitimate polling conventions. Anecdotal evidence from Tyabb residents indicates that he abandoned surveys of individuals once he found they supported the airfield. Further, it’s alleged he used leading questions to “push poll” people into giving answers that supported his anti-airfield stance. He should publish his survey questions and results so that we can all judge their validity, or otherwise, for ourselves. Brewis claims that [Mornington Peninsula Shire] Council is taking Peninsula Aero Club to VCAT based on a legal opinion from “senior counsel”. I’d like to know where he got that information, because council has refused to release this legal opinion to the ratepayers who paid for it. Not even freedom of information requests could obtain a copy. Unless council’s intention is to close the airfield, this proposed VCAT frolic is a pointless and expensive exercise. I’m reminded of previous council attempts to bully and harass the aero club by enforcing a flying ban on Sunday mornings designed to protect a church which closed nearly 50 years ago. I’m also reminded of a recent VCAT finding that council had acted “unlawfully” against the airfield. The recent media release from Cr [Julie] Morris and mayor [Cr Sam] Hearn about the VCAT action was a sad attempt to justify an expensive legal frolic to harass the aero club. They conveniently forgot to mention that they were both “pulling the pin” from council, leaving ratepayers to hold the grenade of the substantial cost of council’s abuse of legal process. Eric Collier, Somerville

Fines for bike tracks Mornington Peninsula Shire should start fining parents for the vandalism and making them pay for the rehabilitation of the land (“Closures lead to DIY BMX tracks” The News 24/8/20). Many of these bushland areas remain because they are valuable remnants of flora and fauna. Thousands of volunteer hours are put in to maintain these places, so to see them destroyed is unacceptable. I’m sure the parents of these track builders wouldn’t like what they care about being vandalised. Neale Adams, Bittern

Useful BMX trails I live near Citation Oval in Mount Martha. There have been mountain bike trails there for quite some time now, going down from the footy ovals towards the [Balcombe] estuary (“Closures lead to DIY BMX tracks” The News 24/8/20). In early August, the first week of stage four lockdown, [Mornington Peninsula Shire] council went in and completely flattened all the trails. I thought that was a despicable act, especially at the start of stage four lockdown. I know of lots of kids and adults that used those tracks. Exercise is extremely important for physical and mental health. Especially as the five kilometre radius from home is in force. I feel this act is contradictory to the shire’s 2020 Ridesafe proposal, where councillors are saying they want to encourage riding and create more paths. I know there needs to be a balance of envi-

ronmental protection, but this area is zoned recreational reserve and mountain bike trails don’t remove any vegetation, apart from grass, as the trails are scratched out around existing trees. I feel the council needs to be called out on what it’s done here, it need to look after residents and invest in more trails and interconnections of trials, not just write about it (Ridesafe plan) and spend money removing them. James Boyd, Mount Martha

Outrageous interest Given we have had a royal commission into banking and, to a limited extent, financial institutions, I for one don’t think it was broad enough by a long shot. Why, when doing internet banking recently, transferring money to pay bills electronically it will take more than two days for the funds to be paid? This is outrageous greed of the banks which is just the pressing of buttons after all. The other matter is interest, charged by credit cards. Given the banks and other credit institutions are giving next to nothing in interest on money in folks accounts, they have the audacity to charge, in many cases, more than 19 per cent interest on these cards. I am fortunate enough to make sure I pay and are able to pay on time. As we saw, the banks and other financial institutions were brought kicking and screaming to the royal commission, denying there was anything thing to see. Funny these corporate cowboys and girls didn’t suffer much from the exposure of what were, sometimes illegal and immoral transactions. No one as far as I am aware has ended up in prison, just lost their jobs or bonuses. Abit of a different story to the [Centrelink] robodebt fiasco. The pain and ongoing tragedy that continues. Is it any wonder people like myself are just so so angry about all the injustices which keep continuing unabated? To quote a great saying from a popular TV show: I am as mad as hell. Denise Hassett, Mount Martha

Yacht insecure The report of the rescue of the sinking yacht Zenith, from San Remo, which was towed to the Flinders pier by Volunteer Marine Rescue, Hastings was not quite the whole story. The yacht was left tied in an inadequate manner, stern on to a rising south easterly wind and an increasingly wild sea over the next several days. At one stage all lines securing the yacht except one had parted and that remaining line was itself damaged. It was only the intervention by several experienced members of Flinders Yacht Club and the CFA and others over a number of days at risk to themselves and using their own tackle that saved the heavy yacht from being washed ashore and being written off. The Flinders pier was also in danger of being damaged. The action was typical of the community spirit in Flinders to help those in need. David Wright. Flinders

Danger road The state government’s endorsement of China’s Belt and Road policy is another step closer to losing our sovereignty. Are we that poor that we need help from a superpower to develop our own infrastructure? The federal government also lacks foresight in protecting Australia’s independence. Many large farms have been sold to Chinese interests and even Darwin’s port, a strategic gateway to Australia, has a 99-year lease to China. COVID-19 has highlighted the value of being economically independent but supportive of other countries. The federal and state governments should not embrace policies that endanger this. Australians should bear in mind that there is a long history of countries using the pretext that their interests or citizens are threatened in order to place embargoes on, or even invade, other countries. Embracing China’s Belt and Road policy opens the door to this. Henry Kelsall, the Sustainable Future Association, Frankston


Mr Hoban’s Departure – Shire Council’s Tribute Compiled by Cameron McCullough AT the special meeting of the shire of Frankston and Hastings last Wednesday week, Cr. Hoban, president, presided for the last time. Cr. Oates spoke in high praise of the capable manner in which Cr. Hoban had carried out his duties as President of the Shire. He had been thoroughly impartial in carrying out the responsible duties of his office, and the council felt proud of the capable and dignified manner in which he had represented the shire on all occasions. Crs Mason, Armstrong and others spoke in appreciation of Cr Hoban and while regretting his departure, hoped that on his return from his trip abroad he would resume his place in the public life of the district. It was unanimously resolved to record appreciation of Cr Hoban’s services, under the seal of the Council. Cr Hoban, in reply, said be appreciated deeply the sentiments expressed by his colleagues. He had endeavored to do his duty, and it was gratifying to find that his efforts had given satisfaction. *** MR D. E. Hoban, leaves Melbourne today by the 4.30 express train for Kalgoorlie W. A. *** IT is probable that a welcome will be extended to Lieut Parer at Frankston. Arrangements are now being discussed and a definite announcement may be expected within the next few days. *** THE Railway Commissioners will

arrive at Frankston on their annual visit of inspection on Wednesday, 8th September, at 10.57 a.m., and will leave for Mornington at 11.50. *** MR Milner Macmaster, of the Bay Estate Agency, Frankston, intimates that pending the opening of his local office about three week’s hence, he will be winding up affairs in Melbourne, inspecting properties in the district, and interviewing clients. On Saturday, September 4th, he will be at Balmoral House, Melbourne Road. Next week he will be in Melbourne on Monday and Tuesday, at Dromana and Rosebud on Wednesday and Thursday, and at Balmoral House on Friday and Saturday. *** THE Methodist School Hall was well filled on Tuesday night, when the members of the congregation met for a social evening. After several items, etc, by Mrs Angwin, Misses Purves, G. T’wining, Ella and Effe Gale, and Messrs Barber and Grey, the Rev. C. Angwin, who presided, referred to the long-standing debt on the church. It was resolved to attempt to raise £100 by straight off giving. The proposal was promptly acted upon, and £53 was guaranteed in the room The signing of the Doxology brought a most pleasant and profitable evening to a close. *** ON every hand congratulations are pouring into the committee of the Frankston Band Pictures on the excellence of last Saturday’s programme,

both for screening and for subjects screened. The star picture, “You cannot have everything” showed some splendid photography and facial expressions. Through the courtesy of Mr Harry Garrood, of Frankston, the pictures of the semi-final match Hastings v Mornington were shown on the screen. Mr Garrood is to be commended on the excellence of his photography. *** THIS week the Japanese actor Sessue Hayaukawa, with Fanny Ward appearing in that famous picture “The Cheat” which is undoubtedly one of the most powerful dramas yet presented on the screen. Not only will you benefit yourself by seeing it but you will be helping to support the town band. *** A MEETING of the Frankston Soldiers’ Memorial Committee was held on Wednesday, 25th ult. Cr W. J. Oates was elected chairman, and others present were – Cr. W. P. Mason, Messrs A. K. T. Sambell, W. Hanton, Hill, Morrison, Brody Young and Vicars. (sec). A letter was read from the Country Roads Board re application for land in front of Mechanics’ Institute as site for Memorial Hall. The Board agreed to make the site available for memorial, but did not favor the idea of a building being erected in that position. The committee decided to accept the site, and to proceed at once with the erection of a suitable memorial, the secretary to obtain designs and estimates forthwith.

The question of a building for use as Soldiers’ club rooms on another site, will receive consideration later. Messrs T. J. McMurtrie, John E. Jones, J. D. Jennings and C Gray. J.P., were added to the Memorial Committee. *** A FOOTBALL match was played between Langwarrin and Pearcedale at Langwarrin last Saturday. The home team scored 9-22 to their opponents 2 points. J. Dorcka acted as central umpire, and gave general satisfaction. Both teams were entertained at a grand supper in the hall, by the Langwarrin ladies. Arrangements, are now being made for the formation of a cricket club at Langwarrin. *** THE annual function known as Ladies’ Night, promoted by the Frankston Masonic Lodge, was as great a success as ever this year. The attendance was exceedingly large, visitors being present from all parts of the State. The hall was beautifully decorated, and evoked admiring comments on all sides. Dancing was interspersed with musical items, and at midnight a sumptuous supper was served. *** IN CONNECTION with the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital appeal, a meeting of Frankston ladies was held in the Mechanics’ Institute on Tuesday afternoon, to make arrangements for holding a plain and fancy dress ball in aid of the hospital on 1st October.

A strong committee was formed. The hon sec, Mr M. Brodys reported that a string band had been engaged, and decorations on a magnificent scale arranged for. The function promises to be a great success. *** Letter To the Editor. Sir, Is there no one at the Hastings Railway Station whose duty it is to put a stop to the unseemly conduct which is now the rule rather than the exception there? As things are at the present, it is a place to be dreaded by respectable people, whose business compels them to go to the station just before the arrival of the evening train, for on the one hand are to be seen and heard drunken men making use of most abominable language, and on the other a crowd of ill-behaved children, romping without let or hindrance on the very edge of the platform. The wonder is that some of them have not been killed by the incoming train. If I remember rightly, there was, a few years ago, a rule forbidding the presence of children on railway platforms unless they had definite business there. Is that rule still in force? If so, it would be something to the credit of this town if it were properly carried out. Yours etc. DISGUSTED. Hastings, Sept 1st *** FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 3 September 1920.

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All Hail the Mono King By Stuart McCullough IT was nothing short magnificent. Like seeing a shark leap out of the ocean or a lion run down a gazelle in slow motion – here was one of nature’s miracles before my very eyes. My mouth was wide open in wonder, not that anyone could tell. (If there’s an advantage to having to wear a face mask, it’s that no one knows when your mouth is hanging open.) I pointed. I shouted. I did all I could to draw attention to this glorious vision. But no one seemed to notice, much less care. Turns out I’m the only one who respects the art of the mono. For those unfamiliar with the term, a ‘mono’ refers to the act of riding a two-wheeled bicycle on one wheel. It’s derived from the Latin term ‘monocytus’; coined when Gaius Appuleius Diocles took a tight corner at the hippodrome and one of the wheels of his chariot lifted off the ground. In the modern age, a mono is something you ‘pull’ on a bike, now that chariots are in notoriously short supply. There are some who claim a unicycle is a permanent mono but those heretics are missing the point. Give me two wheels, only one of which is on terra firma. That’s a mono. There’s a path that runs along the eastern side of the oval. It was there I spotted him. Long-haired and slouching like a bag of potatoes, he was oblivious to the fact that he was about to make history. Without warning, he pulled up the front wheel of his bike into the ‘mono’ position and rode. And rode. And kept riding the entire length of the oval. It was, without fear


Western Port News

Stuart is all smiles shortly after nailing his first-ever 'mono'.

of exaggeration, the longest mono I’ve ever seen. Having pulled a few monos myself, I know genius when I see it. This was nothing short of remarkable. Having reached the end of the oval, the youth turned his bike around and

9 September 2020

rode back in yet another mega-mono. As if it were nothing. My first bike was a dragster. The seat was elongated, the handles were wide and there was a metal loop at the back that you could lean against or, al-

ternatively, someone could grab as if it were handle. Dragster bikes were for leisurely rides, built more for comfort than for speed. They were perfect for bitumen and ill-suited to gravel, which was all we had. Even if we were to ride our bikes to the nearest stretch of bitumen, it would have taken us to Coolart Road which was deemed ‘too dangerous’ for children to ride on. You couldn’t pull a mono on a dragster. I’m not sure it ever occurred to me to try. But bikes underwent something of a revolution in the 1980s and, suddenly, a dragster was as daggy as a pair of purple corduroy flared trousers, something to be ashamed of. I immediately put the bike in the shed where it remains to this day. I wore the purple corduroy flares a while longer. Replacing the dragster were three initials – B, M and X. ‘BMX’ is short for ‘bicycle motocross’. Unlike the dragster, the BMX was a bike made for action. You could race it or perform stunts on it. We would sit goggle-eyed as we saw others spin their bikes through the air. It was as if they could fly. Our attempts to emulate these heroes took place at a far lower altitude but it was enough to cause the adrenalin to course through our veins and permanently relocate our hearts from chest to mouth. It was nothing short of thrilling. We made our own BMX course. It included some small piles of dirt we referred to as ‘jumps’. We would time ourselves as we tore around the track in a desperate bid to break our own record. You came to know every puddle, pothole, curve and crater as you rode

around and around. We must have spent hours racing each other. I have no idea who won. And yes, amongst all this racing we mastered the art of the mono. They were necessarily brief, with success being gauged by the ability to lift wheel and return it to earth without flipping it over and landing on your back like some kind of bizarre human / metal turtle hybrid. Nothing we did then compared to what I was seeing now. To be able to ride the full length of an oval whilst pulling a mono – that was something beyond our wildest dreams. Partly because we lacked the balance. And imagination. Mostly because it was a ten kilometer trip to the nearest oval. Bike paths were a rarity then. The kid stopped, both wheels on the concrete. He then leaned forward and turned a switch before music started to float across the park. There was a speaker strapped to the handlebars. I didn’t recognize the song, but it didn’t matter. The Mono King was here and he deserved to be worshiped. During this period of lockdown, my wife has suggested I get a bike. This is partly because everyone else is doing it, but mostly because I’ve taken to wearing lycra at all times (so comfortable for me, less so for you). I’m tempted, but today’s road and mountain bikes with their wafer-thin seats don’t interest me. I want a real bike. I want a BMX. I can see myself now, doing jumps and bunny hops before pulling a mono and riding into the sunset. The Mono King is dead. All hail the Mono King. stuart@stuartmccullough.com

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scoreboard WESTERN PORT

Packer, Robinson sign on again


By Craig MacKenzie SOMERVILLE Eagles senior coach Stan Packer and assistant Paul Robinson have committed to the State League 4 outfit for 2021. Packer filled the void last June created by David Greening’s unexpected departure. Director of football Zach Peddersen was delighted with the news and has given both coaches his backing. “I’m really pleased to have Stan and Paul leading the club forward in 2021,” Peddersen said. “Both are keen to get stuck into preseason as soon as restrictions allow us. “Stan’s been busy speaking with our squad from last year and Paul is looking into bringing youth into our reserves.” Packer’s priority is to establish the senior team at State 4 level and he expects changes to be made to the current squad. He has identified areas that need to be strengthened and will target players to do that. His task is difficult given that Somerville doesn’t pay players. “The problem we’ve got is that you’re competing against clubs who do pay players,” Packer said. “I have strong views about this and I think paying players at this level is ridiculous. “There are a lot of very average players being paid to play and when you watch some of the local clubs you wonder how they can pay some of them. “Amateur football should be about developing players not paying players.” One of the players Packer hopes can develop at Somerville is Nazif Mohammad, younger brother of exMorwell Pegasus, Doveton, Casey Comets and Frankston Pines striker Naseer Mohammad. The brothers were signed a couple of days before the season start was put on hold then eventually scrapped. “Naseer asked if he could bring down his younger brother and I said ‘of course you can’. “The young bloke is 16 and he can play alright. “These are the types of lads you want and I’ve got no qualms about putting a 16- or 17-year-old in the first team if he can play, none whatsoever.”

Storm strikes: The remains of the home team dugout at Centenary Park after high winds swept through the area recently. Stan’s the man: Somerville Eagles head coach Stan Packer has signed on for 2021. Pictures: supplied

Nazif Mohammad is a striker and played with Casey’s under-16s last year. Somerville remains keen for former senior coach Billy Rae to rejoin the club. Rae is held in high regard by Peddersen and talks have taken place between them. “There’s been nothing formal, but he’s offered to help out in any way he can,” Peddersen said. “We’re just working through a few structures at the moment and hope to have something in place where he’s in a major role. “His training and level of professionalism was brilliant for our group.” The Eagles have been active on the playing front in bringing in striker David Jones to the senior squad.

Jones, 28, played with Mount Eliza in the Bayside League last year but was keen to return to Saturday soccer hence the switch. He’s been on the books of Peninsula Strikers and Seaford United. Central defender Ash Scholes has re-committed to Somerville for next season. In NPL2 news Frankston council has opened the tender process for a major floodlighting project at Lawton Park, home of Langwarrin. The $500,000 project is jointly funded by the state government and council with the latter hoping to award the contract by 22 September. It is expected that floodlighting will be completed no later than April next year. The project is one of 13 to share in

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$4.9 million in grants from the 2019– 20 The World Game Facilities Fund, a state government initiative that assists soccer clubs and organisations to upgrade existing or develop new facilities. The main pitch will definitely be floodlit to a 200-lux capacity enabling NPL night matches to be held while at this stage the top pitch next to the new entrances will be floodlit to 100-lux capacity. Local Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett acknowledged project partner Frankston council for its commitment and financial contribution to delivering this important upgrade at Lawton Park. “Football is booming in Victoria and we’re expecting growing numbers of boys and girls, men and women to sign up to play at local clubs,” she said. In State 2 news Peninsula Strikers were shocked to see the damage wrought recently by high winds. The home team dugout at Centenary Park needs a rebuild and the club has contacted council. “It was the wind storm a fortnight back, Friday I think,” club president Adrian Scialpi said. “I spoke to Fiona (Dalla-Rossa) at council and the parks team have cleaned it up, now we will start the










process of lobbying council for new ones before next season.” In other news leading soccer identity and local resident Chris Taylor has settled a dispute with former club South Melbourne. Taylor, head coach at Oakleigh Cannons, parted ways with South in acrimonious circumstances early in 2018. It’s believed that Taylor had a year to run on a long-term contract with South. He lodged a formal complaint with FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee and was given advocacy support from Football Coaches Australia’s legal consultant based in Kuala Lumpur. FIFA ruled in his favour ordering the Greek giant to pay Taylor a substantial lump sum. South Melbourne appealed against that decision to the Confederation of Australian Sport but both parties reached a settlement prior to a ruling from that body. This was confirmed by FCA CEO Glenn Warry. “This was one of three cases settled favourably in the past 12 months involving the advocacy support of Football Coaches Australia,” Warry said. “Two of these cases involved South Melbourne.”

WESTERN PORT scoreboard

Barocha remains unbeaten HORSE RACING

By Ben Triandafillou THE 100 per cent strike rate continues for Mornington-based trainer Clayton Douglas as his sole runner to date, Barocha, brought up his second straight victory at Geelong on Sunday 6 September. Coming off a five-length maiden romp at Sale last month, Barocha once again demonstrated that he’s a serious city class talent by scoring a two-and-a-half length victory in benchmark 64 grade. The four-year-old gelding by Ilovethiscity settled three-wide with cover at the rear of the field before steaming straight past his rivals in the straight and landing a comfortable win under the guidance of jockey, and Douglas’ fiancée, Jamie Kah. Trainer Clayton Douglas said he was glad to see his promising gelding perform just as well on the dry track as he did on the heavy track on debut. “I was just hoping he’d do that and it’s good to see him do it on top of the ground,” Douglas said post-race. “He’s a nice progressive horse and he can get right off the speed and he’s really electric so he’s the perfect racehorse. You couldn’t really script it better to have a horse and your first runner with this much ability. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this horse can do and hopefully he can win a nice race for me. “ Douglas had planned on stepping

the gelding up in distance in his future runs, and Sunday’s performance only enhanced his thoughts. “I want to get this horse out to 1400m and that was always the plan

just to be quiet and give them a start and obviously his ability kicked in at the furlong (200m) and he put them away really nicely today,” he said. Barocha has a couple of options

to head to next with Douglas eyeing off benchmark 70 and benchmark 78 races at Flemington and Caulfield respectively over 1400m.

Perfect run: Barocha continues trainer, Clayton Douglas’, 100 per cent strike rate with his second straight win at Geelong on Sunday. Picture: Supplied



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Western Port News

9 September 2020

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