MP accuses councillors over backing for grant


TWO Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors have been accused of misleading the state government which gave $588,000 towards extending the Rye boat ramp.

Nepean MP and Rye resident Martin Dixon, who has announced his intention not to run at the next election, told parliament that It was “misleading of the council” to advise the Andrews Labor government that there was community support in Rye to add a fourth lane to the three-lane ramp.

The Liberal MP said the grant was based on the council’s assurance to the government that the project had broad community support.

But the community was, in fact, “vehement” in its opposition to the plan, he said.

“They have been consistent in this view for years and have made this known to council officers and to me on numerous occasions,” he said.

Mr Dixon has called for the money to be spent on the boat ramp at Rosebud, which he described as “the main town of the Mornington Peninsula”.

His allegations come as 50 candidates line up for the 11 seats on the council in next month’s elections.

But Nepean Ward councillors Tim Rodgers and Hugh Fraser have hit back, accusing Mr Dixon of “playing politics”.

“It is unfortunate that Martin Dixon is playing politics to put at risk state government and council funding for much needed capital improvements to Rye and its foreshore,” Cr Fraser, who is seeking re-election, said.

“As Nepean ward councillor I have been closely working with the community of Rye, council officers and VicRoads to better connect the Rye township with and improve the foreshore with the Rye Place and Movement project.

“This project is on public exhibition and council welcomes all community comment on this vital project for the revitalisation of Rye.”

Mr Dixon, who linked the Rye boat ramp upgrade plans to opposition to the Sorrento boat ramp upgrade, told parliament the councillors had “ignored” the pleas of the Rye community.

“It is a pity that the two Nepean ward councillors have ignored the pleas of the Rye community, listening instead to those opposed to any upgrade of the Sorrento boat ramp,” he said.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 27 September 2016


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