Year: 2013

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…

STATE government MP David Morris claims federal funding to Mornington Peninsula Shire has decreased and has warned against giving the commonwealth more power over local government at a referendum in September. Mr Morris, the Liberal MP for Mornington,  said funding for the coming financial year was $166,412 less than received for 2012-13. Describing the cut as a “major blow for the council when it is finalising its annual budget”, Mr Morris said federal funding to Victorian councils had decreased by $13.4 million in 2013-14. “The hardest hit councils have lost almost half a million dollars in federal funding,” he said.…

SELLING recycled water from Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plant near Carrum could raise at least $240 million a year. Clean Ocean Foundation president Peter Smith says South East Water is failing to adequately market the Class A quality water being poured daily into the sea at Gunnamatta on the Mornington Peninsula. Mr Smith for years led the battle that last year finally saw Melbourne Water lift the quality of water being discharged from the outfall. But with that battle won, Mr Smith says Clean Ocean is now concerned at the environmental effects of billions of litres of fresh water going…

THE protection of Melbourne’s natural environment with Green Wedge Zones was a signature achievement of former Mornington Peninsula MP Alan Hunt, who died in the early hours of Friday morning at age 86. Mr Hunt, the father of five sons including federal Flinders MP Greg Hunt, his youngest, died at Peninsula Health’s palliative care unit in Frank­ston where he had been for two days after being transferred from Frankston Hospital. Mr Hunt’s eldest son Bob, 61, drove from southern NSW and arrived at the palliative care unit at about 3am and was with his father at the end. Greg Hunt…

THE letter to the editor in Western Port News (29/5/13) caught the eye of Eve Dellar straight away. The road mentioned is painfully familiar and the topic of the letter even more so. “Today I received a speeding ticket for doing 64km/h in a 60 zone,” the letter began. “The camera that detected me was set up in Stony Point Rd, Crib Point, at 5am on a Monday morning. As anyone who has travelled along the section of Stony Point Rd near Symonds St knows, the road is more than twice the width of many roads, it is straight, flat and I…

TEN-storey towers 32 metres high could be built on the beach side of Nepean Highway under the proposed Frankston structure plan. The draft plan was released for public comment on Monday night. The plan will guide development over the next 20 years and replaces the 2005 TAFE to Bay structure plan. The proposal is already drawing fire with two councillors, James Dooley and Glenn Aitken, criticising on ABC television news. Cr Aitken told the ABC the structure plan “will turn Frankston into a place of mediocrity into the future”. Cr Dooley said it included zones for high-density housing that could…

THE spate of burglaries at schools on the Mornington Peninsula continues with three raided over the past week. Rosebud police believe there may be a link between two burglaries that occurred on the same night, at Boneo Primary School and Red Hill Consolidated School. Senior Constable Chris Zurek of Rosebud crime investigation unit said laptop computers were the target in both cases. Security alarms at Boneo primary went off about 1.40am on Wednesday 5 June. Three notebook computers were stolen from the administration area. Senior Constable Zurek said that there was no sign of a forced entry. A few hours…

MORNINGTON beaches are being polluted by rubbish from Melbourne. Trash collected by beach walkers in the past two weeks included five syringes as well as plastic containers, lids, straws, small pieces of plastic and parking slips, in total enough to fill several large garbage bags. More than three dozen parking slips came from the cities of Melbourne, Maribyrnong, Darebin and Yarra, revealing the exact time and date the slips were issued. Several had taken just three days to float from Melbourne to Mornington. Mornington Environment Association president Jan Oliver said “rubbish in appalling amounts was washed up on Mills Beach…

AFTER more than 10 years of reports, community consultations, two independent panel hearings and intense lobbying, the shire council last week voted to send the Woodland planning amendment to Planning Minister Matthew Guy for his approval. But it was a close-run thing – Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Lynn Bowden used her casting vote to get the amendment, known as C162, over the line after councillors were locked at 5-all. The Woodland amendment is the shire’s attempt to create the planning muscle to restrict subdivision to protect “neighbourhood character” in the area of Mt Eliza bounded by Nepean Highway, Humphries…

OPPOSITION to the proposed rubbish tip in an old quarry on Arthurs Seat is mounting with more than 500 people packing Dromana Hall last Saturday for the first meeting of Peninsula Preser­vation Group. It was arguably the largest protest meeting on the southern peninsula since the anti-dredging rally on Rosebud foreshore in February 2008. People who could not get into the hall stood outside, watching and listening through open windows. Tip proponent Peninsula Waste Management, owned by R E Ross Trust, has asked the Environment Protection Authority to approve its plan. It also needs the OK from Mornington Peninsula Shire.…

SHIRE councillors have removed the Rosebud foreshore site as the preferred location for the Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre (SPA). The move at Tuesday night’s council meeting reverses a decision made in March 2012. It was led by the shire’s youngest councillor, Andrew Dixon, who was elected to one of three seats in Briars Ward last October. The decision puts the inland site at Wannaeue Place (Rosebud Central shopping centre) on an equal footing with the foreshore site. Councillors will consider the two sites at a workshop on 23 July before again debating the long-running project at a subsequent council meeting.…

MORNINGTON solicitor and deve­loper Joseph Alesci and his company Porsh Pty Ltd have been fined $12,000 and ordered to pay costs of $8000 over planning breaches at his Epicurean Centre in Red Hill South. Mornington Peninsula Shire communications manager Todd Trimble said the shire took Mr Alesci and Porsh to Frankston Magistrates’ Court “for various breaches of the planning permit and the planning scheme”. “The offences included the construc­tion of a concrete pad and blast wall on the road reserve; creation of a dam for the purposes of waste water treatment; failure to satisfy a section 173 agreement; and constructing…

HOOLIGANS lit a fire at a service station in Mornington and sped away, leaving the terrified lone attendant to douse the flames. Police are reviewing security camera footage and seeking information about the incident at the Shell service station on the corner of Nepean Highway and Pentecost Rd opposite Tanti Ave. Detective Senior Constable Rohan Brock of Mornington crime investi­gation unit said a blue Holden Com­modore sedan drove into the service station about 5.45am on Sunday 2 June. It was closely followed by a white Holden station wagon with two men and a woman. Detective Brock said a man emerged…

THE cost of Frankston’s aquatic centre has risen $3.35 million from $46.35 to $49.7 million. Frankston Council chief executive Dennis Hovenden said the increase came when the council approved the final design and awarded the tender for its construction to builder ADCO. “One of the final design decisions by the council was widening of the main pool hall concourse, which increased the size of the building by about 1200 square metres,” he said. Australian construction company ADCO recently built the Greensborough Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre and is completing the Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre. On Tuesday, the council announced…

THE state government has started in­stalling speed camera warning signs on Peninsula Link freeway but the cameras have not yet been switched on. The six cameras on the 27-kilometre freeway between EastLink tollway in Carrum Downs and the Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Mt Martha are in pairs, all in Moorooduc – one in each direction at the Loders Rd flyover, Mornington-Tyabb Rd off-ramps and Eramosa Rd West flyover. The cameras will function as instan­taneous cameras as well as point-to-point units, which photograph a vehicle’s number plate as it passes the first camera and then compares the plate of the vehicle…

THE Otama submarine will be brought ashore within 18 months, says West­­ern Port Oberon Association. At the launch of the Victorian Maritime Centre Project in Hastings on Friday, project development team chairman Jim Schaefer said the submarine would be the centrepiece of the centre. It will be next to the southern end of the Western Port Marina seawall in Hastings on reclaimed land. Next to the sub on the seaward side will be the maritime centre building and memorial walls. There will be a parking area for 120 cars nearby. The association was given in-principle approval to use the site…

THE announcement that publication of the Frankston Weekly and Peninsula Weekly will end this month will see a narrowing of dissemination of news and events in the region. Five sister publications across the eastern and southern suburbs are also being killed off. The Dandenong Journal is the only paper in the group’s former eastern division to survive the cull of mastheads by the 50 per cent Fairfax-owned MMP Media Publications. It appears just one of the 10 part-time and full-time staff at the company’s Mornington office will have a job with the company after the papers’ final editions on 18…

ASSAULTS, drug offences and car thefts have risen across the Mornington Peninsula in the 12 months to March, according to the latest police crime figures. While crimes against people were up by 26 per cent, burglaries, theft from cars and property damage were all down. Acting Inspector Paul Cripps said the crime statistics were “a mixed bag”. “Of particular concern to police are crimes of violence such as assaults and family violence, which increased during the past 12 months.” Inspector Cripps said a team had been set up to investigate family violence, the biggest single assault offence. He said team…

THE investigation of a shire councillor over alleged conflict of interest remains unresolved. Cr Graham Pittock appeared in Dro­mana Magistrates’ Court last Thursday to answer two charges brought by the Local Government Inspectorate that he had breached the Local Government Act. The inspectorate is the local council watchdog. It is alleged Cr Pittock had a conflict of interest when he voted on the multi-million dollar Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre (SPA), proposed to be built on the Rosebud foreshore. The charges allege the Seawinds Ward councillor voted at council meetings on 12 March last year and 12 June, a two-part meeting…

SHIRE councillors have rejected intro­ducing a noise control law for Tyabb Airfield. At Mornington Peninsula Shire’s council meeting, nine of the 11 councillors voted to reject a proposal to adopt Environment Protection Authority noise control guidelines as part of the shire’s Local Laws, which were revised last year. The move has angered and disappointed Tyabb and District Ratepayers, which is likely to take the matter further. The council instead agreed to take up “the offer from Airservices Australia and Australian Mayoral Aviation Council to work through the issues” and called for yet another report. A spokesman for Tyabb ratepayers said…