Month: July 2013

MEMBERS of the public are being asked to turn over any old steamy pictures they may have hidden away as part of a new line of inquiry into the shire’s past. Mornington Peninsula Shire is looking to collect any photographs or memorabilia from the now-defunct Red Hill to Bittern railway to help reconstruct the historic line’s history. The Red Hill–Bittern line was opened in 1921 mainly to carry produce from the highly productive orchard areas of the peninsula to market in Melbourne but was closed just over three decades later in 1953. The shire council has commissioned a heritage management…

The operators of Waterfront Cafe in Hastings have placed the business into voluntary liquidation. Part of the shire-operated Pelican Park, the current operators of the cafe won the tender to run the business last year and took over on 1 July 2012. The operators of the cafe are believed to have been in dispute with Mornington Peninsula Shire over their plans to sell the cafe. The closure has resulted in the loss of four full-time and 10 casual staff. A sign in the door of the cafe advises the business will be closed until further notice.

SIGNS of the times are popping up around the southern peninsula as the anti-tip campaign gains momentum. Peninsula Preservation Group – the lead objector to the plan to put a rubbish tip, or landfill, in the old Pioneer quarry at Dromana – has distributed more than 300 anti-tip signs to members and supporters as well as bumper stickers. The signs have been appearing on freeway bridges, in people’s front yards and on fences, beside roads and, cheekily, next to Hillview Quarries’ entrance on Boundary Rd in Dromana (pictured). Hillview Quarries and tip proponent Peninsula Waste Management are owned by the…

A TEMPORARY roundabout will be installed at the high-risk intersection of Graydens and Boes roads in Hastings. The decision by Mornington Penin­sula Shire comes after an increasing number of accidents, including three in June (The News, 2/7/13). Federal Coalition MP Greg Hunt has weighed in to the issue after a near-miss at the intersection on Monday last week. Mr Hunt, who has an office in Hastings and lives at Mt Martha, has been enlisted by the shire council to lobby federal Transport Minister and newly elected Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Mr Hunt’s media adviser, Tina Mc­Guffie, said the shire…

ASBESTOS has been removed from vacant land in central Mornington, leaving a neighbour fearing that fragments of the deadly substance have been carried from the site by truck tyres. The former industrial land at 73-75 Barkly St is being prepared for townhouses. The land is next to Mornington Primary School and Josh Dawson, assistant manager of the Gillon Group development company, said asbestos removal was timed to coincide with school holidays. In a “courtesy” letter to nearby residents, Mr Dawson said asbestos on the vacant land was “limited to sheet fragments” and was classified as “non-fibrous and does not present…

NEW assessments of the durability of imported sand at Mt Martha Beach North may be required in the wake of last week’s storms. Thousands of tonnes of sand were trucked to the site in May 2010 after a series of storms had eroded the beach down to underlying clay and rock. A two-year study commissioned by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries estimated the beach was continually losing sand and would need renourishing in five to 10 years. “Nourishment sand has also been moved to the back of the beach, distributing itself along the cliffs. This increased berm height…

THE federal government has approved plans to expand Yaringa Boat Harbour at Somerville. The $50 million project was subject to approval by the federal Department of Environment as it triggered a process under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The so-called “controlled action” under the Act was because the project could potentially affect wetlands of international importance, listed threatened species, and listed migratory species. Permission was granted on 26 June after Yaringa owner Stefan Borzecki submitted his plans to the government in July 2011. Mr Borzecki now needs approval from the state government for rezoning of land,…

THE arrival of larger-than-life mining billionaire Professor Clive Palmer to the federal election stage brought much mirth from “serious” political pundits. His drive for the Lodge was labelled the most audacious since Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s ill-fated push in 1987. But the Mineralogy executive chairman and officially declared National Living Treasure has made a habit of gaining far greater traction with the general public than allegedly better credentialed experts. And as Kevin Rudd’s defiant return to the top demonstrated only too clearly, those with the temerity to ignore the better judgement of the faceless men and political commentariat may actually get to…

PROPOSED boundary amendments to the state electoral district of Frankston could seriously imperil Geoff Shaw’s re-election prospects, despite the former Liberal and now independent MP welcoming the potential changes. The Frankston MP applauded the Vic­torian Electoral Boundaries Commission announcement last week proposing Frankston North be included in his electorate, despite the area being a Labor stronghold and his own seat being highly marginal. The EBC is calling for public suggestions and objections to its proposed redivision of electoral boundaries, which will affect the vast majority of electorates in Victoria. But Mr Shaw said he was more than happy with the…

FRANKSTON will get another multi-storey building after the council on Monday night approved an 11-storey complex on the beach side of the Nepean Highway. The building on land at 446-450 Nepean Highway is currently occupied by Frankston Hi Fi, the Pint and Pickle and the former Sydney’s Furniture store, and will be between McDonald’s restaurant on Wells St and the old cinema complex near Beach St. The highest part of the building will be a tower 39 metres high. The lift “overrun” will be 41 metres high. Other parts of the building will be set back from streets and neighbouring…

A RATEPAYER group has accused Mornington Peninsula Shire of “deli­berately” adopting a budget strategy for 2013-14 “designed to mislead the public”. The shire proposes a 5.9 per cent lift in the general rate in the dollar. This does not include the 12.5 per cent hike to a major compulsory charge, the municipal charge. This gives “the appearance of the rate rise being less than 6 per cent”, the Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association says. Calculations show that increasing the municipal charge by $20 to $180 will bring the rates rise to 7.7 per cent. In a letter to the…

HOUSEHOLDS will be slugged with a sharp jump in water bills starting this month. The Essential Services Commission ruled retailer South East Water can increase prices by 22.8 per cent from 1 July. The retailer services bayside suburbs from St Kilda to Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula, parts of the southeast and eastern Gippsland. The independent regulator decided metropolitan water prices could rise by an average of 22.4 per cent, plus inflation, with the majority of the increase required to recoup the construction of Victoria’s $5.7 billion desalination plant near Wonthaggi built by the Brumby Labor government and Melbourne Water. The…