Author: MP News Group

DREDGING is about to start at Rye and Sorrento to make sure boats can safely access ramps and piers. The dredging will deepen the channel at Rye and around Sorrento boat ramp’s southern pier. The six weeks allocated by Mornington Peninsula Shire for the works is aimed at minimising the impact on recreational water sport users, as well as taking account of weather conditions and the migration of the spider crabs. An environmental management plan has been developed to minimise impacts on the environment. Sand dredged at Rye and Sorrento will be used to replenish nearby beaches. The shire says…

A REIMAGINED 2021 Seniors Festival will be staged next month. Mornington Peninsula Shire, community, businesses and organisations have put together a COVIDSafe calendar of events complementing a host of online and radio programs through the Victorian Seniors Festival website. Events and offers include a free plant giveaway at The Briars, the workshop Compost Like a Champion at the Eco Living Display Centre, Tai Chi at shire libraries, community choir workshop, and downsizing your home online information sessions. The festival will be launched on the inaugural Australian Ageism Awareness Day: Friday 1 October, coinciding with the UN’s International Day of Older…

TWO COVID-19 education officers have been hired by Mornington Peninsula Shire for six months to help businesses, community groups and event organisers establish COVIDSafe plans and practices. The shire has also partnered with the state government to provide extra resources to help protect customers, staff and members of the public in the pandemic. The officers will help their clients put in place or update COVIDSafe plans as well as provide resources and templates to help with plans and practices. They will also promote safe practices among those in the hospitality industry, at community venues and in small retail settings. Details:…

BENTON Junior College, Mornington, is testing the power of flowers to “bring the community together”. The school’s front fence is being used as a base for a spring flower art installation, named Flower Ville in recognition of the Spoon Ville sites that appeared during 2020. “We chose flowers as a celebration of spring and the uplifting power they have on people,” visual art teacher Michele Marshall said. “We have invited our school community to contribute a homemade flower and attach it to the fence over the school holidays.” Ms Marshall urged other schools to establish Flower Villes as a “simple…

HOMICIDE Squad detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in Frankston on Saturday. The man’s body was discovered when police attended at an address in Rassay Court to conduct a welfare check just before 10pm. Police and forensic experts attended the scene and SES volunteers were called in to help. The victim was a 34-year-old man. The Rassay Court death on Saturday follows the death of a man in Frankston on Thursday night. Police believe a woman, 58, and her son, 17, were at their Dandenong Road West home when there was a knock on the…

SURFERS driving to breaks along Boneo Road, from Rosebud to Flinders, were being checked for breaching the five-kilometre limit last week. Somerville Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Phillip Hulley said police under Operation Guardian were asking surfers’ addresses and were prepared to issue penalty notices if they were in breach. “We often get pretty feeble excuses, but they won’t wash with us and the surfers can expect a heavy fine if they are outside their limits,” he said. The penalty for breaching the five-kilometre rule is $1817. Operation Sentinel Sergeant Steve Wood, based at Somerville CIU, said three fines for breaching…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Highway Patrol police are gearing up for a big AFL Grand Final long weekend. They will be taking part in Operation Scoreboard from just after midnight Thursday 23 September to just before midnight Sunday 26 September. Somerville Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Phillip Hulley said the long weekend had historically been high risk in terms of road trauma. He said police would target badly behaved drivers with a major focus on excessive speed and impaired driving. Police will provide a “highly visible active and mobile presence to reinforce positive driving behaviours and lessen the incidence of road trauma…

TWO Mornington residents were awoken by a man possibly armed with a gun last week. Detective Senior Sergeant Eddie Lagonder, of Somerville CIU, said the unknown man broke into the Grange Road home, 4.50am, Thursday 16 September. After confronting the married couple, he allegedly assaulted the 74-year-old man who was later taken to Frankston Hospital with minor injuries. Detectives were still determining what was stolen, Thursday morning. The offender is described as being short and stocky. Anyone with information about either of these incidents is urged to call Somerville CIU 5978 1300 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000. First published…

REBECCA Fraser, of Mount Martha, has been awarded $1000 in money, bookstore vouchers and a two-week Police Point artist’s residency after her story Due South won the 18 years-plus category in the Mayor’s Short Story Writing Awards. The tale is about a Tasmanian widower, Franklyn, who rebels against his daughter’s plan to deposit him in a retirement home on the mainland and, instead, packs up his cat and rows “due south”. “Franklyn wants to maintain charge of his own destiny,” Fraser said. “He reminds us that we have our own paths to follow.” She said it was a “thrill to…

IT comes too late to save Greg Merlo’s community garden, but Mornington Peninsula Shire seems to have turned a new leaf in its appreciation of roadside vegetable and flower plots. The Balnarring resident, 82, became a local hero last year when he turned a vacant public walkway into a productive haven where neighbours could pick their own vegetables, chat with neighbours and learn about plants – until council workmen laid it bare (“Red tape crushes a ‘community’ garden” The News 16/8/21). But the penny seems to have dropped, with the council at its 30 August meeting adopting Cr David Gill’s…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has invited community feedback on its approach to planning and managing water in the face of climate change and population growth. With the green wedge covering 70 per cent of its land area and 192 kilometres of coastline, water and land management plays an important role in the peninsula’s community, economy and environment. The draft integrated water management plan aims to enhance the peninsula’s water supplies by using alternative water resources, such as rainwater and stormwater, to irrigate and drought proof green open spaces; protect the health of waterways, wetlands and bays; reduce flood risks; increase sewerage…

MORE than a quarter of a million people have been tested at Peninsula Health’s COVID-19 screening clinics since the first swab was taken in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region 18 months ago. The milestone was reached on Thursday 2 September at the health service’s drive and walk through testing site, on the old tennis courts next to Frankston Hospital. Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula now have some of the highest testing rates in Victoria. Dozens of staff – including nurses, allied health, ward clerks, security guards and traffic controllers – have run permanent and temporary locations. The mobile team…

COMMUNITY batteries each able to power up to 280 homes could be installed across the peninsula as part of a $150,000 Neighbourhood Battery Initiative. It is part of a feasibility study being developed by United Energy and financed by the state government. It aligns with the views of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and community energy and greenhouse alliance groups across Victoria. Work on the study will begin this year and be completed in 2022. Determining the best locations for the on-ground batteries will take in factors such as the community benefits and local power demand and constraints. United Energy general…

TWO men have been arrested over a series of burglaries and thefts on the Mornington Peninsula. Somerville CIU detectives with help from Rosebud police and the frontline tasking unit arrested the men after $21,500 in allegedly stolen property was found at Tootgarook and Rye properties. A 29-year-old Tootgarook man and 42-year-old Rye man were charged with a variety of offences. The Rye man was bailed to appear at Dromana Magistrates’ Court on 10 February charged with theft from a motor vehicle, theft of a bicycle, handling stolen goods, possessing property believed to be the proceeds of crime, and possessing methyl-amphetamine.…

JULIE Saunders earned the Mornington Peninsula 2021 Citizen of the Year Award partly for her role in cooking, packing and delivering three-course meals to around 60 needy households every Wednesday. She and a group of dedicated volunteers made 1200 meals which were delivered to mainly older residents during the COVID-19 lockdown. Ms Saunders also acts as an IP, or independent person. This voluntary position administered by the Department of Justice involves making herself available 24/7 to assist 12-17-year-olds who have been arrested. When a parent or guardian is not available an IP sits with that person to help them through…

THE stricken submarine HMAS Otama was on the move last Saturday, with the aid of two tugs. The stricken sub’s next voyage may either end onshore or at the scrapyard. It is now lying in about one metre of water off Crib Point and its owner, Western Port Oberon Association, has been given 28 days to decide its future. Association vice-president Keith Claughton said yesterday (Monday) the association was trying to get a permit to bring it ashore from Mornington Peninsula Shire. If given the all clear, the Otama would be lifted by crane or dragged on rollers to shire-controlled…

MORNINGTON boat builder Mal Hart last week launched a $2.8 million rough-weather boat, pictured, for the Tasmanian police. The Nautilus, of the impressive ORC-type, took 15,000 man-hours to build over eight months at Hart Marine’s Yuilles Road factory. Its twin Scania engines and Hamilton jet drives give it a top speed of 45 knots. Three similar boats are already in service in Queensland and one with Victoria Police. “It’s a great boat; world class,” Mr Hart said. “We have had interest from all over the world.” Hart Marine is in the process of moving its manufacturing business across the peninsula…

A CAR at Mornington and two others at Frankston were among dozens targeted by thieves for their catalytic converters – part of the exhaust system – which are usually on-sold for cash. Detective Senior Sergeant Eddie Logonder, of Somerville CIU, said the owner of a Nissan X-Trail arrived at a factory in Progress Street, Mornington, on Thursday 12 August to find the car jacked. Cautiously looking underneath, he was relieved to find nothing missing. This was not the norm, though. Transit police last week arrested three men over the thefts, mainly from vehicles parked outside railway stations in the southeast,…

THE driver of a car caught speeding at Tyabb last week will have to dig deep. The woman, 28, of Frankston, was travelling at 82kph in a 60kph zone, 10pm, Saturday 29 August. She later blew 0.124 per cent at Mornington police station and her licence was immediately suspended and her car impounded at a cost of $895. The woman also received an $1817 infringement for breaching curfew regulations. She will be summonsed to appear at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court at a later date. First published in the Mornington News – 7 September 2021

GETTING on in years, but still active, this male koala was recently released at Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve where he will “live out his time” in his favourite gum tree. Animalia Animal Rescue’s Michelle Thomas said the “old boy” was brought in for a check-up after being found on the ground by a walker concerned that he was staying in the one place and not moving around as much as he should be. “There was nothing wrong with him, though”, Ms Thomas said. “He was happy and healthy. “Koalas are in every reserve and they are always on the move.”…

SCARECROWS have always been associated with taking care of food crops and numbers of a much friendlier version, carecrows, are popping up across the Mornington Peninsula. A peninsula-based Carecrow Club formed during the state’s sixth COVID lockdown is urging householders to make and display a carecrow in their front yard to lift spirits and provide support for mental health. “It is hoped that the Carecrow campaign will lift our spirits, offer a sense of fun and community for all, and is not intended to be a competition,” Heather Forbes-McKeon, of McCrae, said. The carecrows can be made from anything around…

ABOUT 30 anti-COVID vaccination protesters and one dog quietly stood outside Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Mornington offices on Tuesday last week. Mornington Police Senior Sergeant Paul Edwards described the gathering as being well-behaved and resembling a “group of middle-aged residents getting out for a coffee”. Senior Sergeant Edwards said members of the group disbanded after he warned that unless they moved on, they would be issued infringements for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s regulations. “About 95 per cent were wearing masks and, if they weren’t, they were offered one by police or allowed exemptions because of underlying health issues,” Senior Sergeant…

A CAR allegedly stolen from outside a house at Dromana on the weekend was involved in a police pursuit and alleged ramming of two police cars. Police will allege a 39-year-old Cranbourne man deliberately reversed the 2002 Audi into two police cars, one in Hall Road, Carrum Downs and the other in Eramosa Road East, Somerville, before driving off towards Cranbourne. Police arrested the man on Peninsula Link after bringing the car to a halt using stop sticks, early Saturday 28 August. Senior Detective Clayton Beckhouse, of Somerville CIU, said the man was to face Frankston Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday…

THE 100 Meals on Wheels volunteers who deliver up to 1600 meals a week on the Mornington Peninsula were honoured on National Meals on Wheels Day, Wednesday 25 August. Mornington Peninsula Shire acknowledged the dedication, commitment, and resilience of the volunteers who over a year collectively travel 125,000 kilometres which is equivalent to a trip around Australia. “National Meals on Wheels Day acknowledges and celebrates the tremendous impact our Meals on Wheels volunteers have on our local communities,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said. “I thank our local volunteers for their passion and time.” The shire acknowledges that the Meals…

CFA crews took two hours to rescue an elderly man after his car crashed over a barrier and ran down a cliff at Mount Martha last week. Units from Mount Martha, Mornington, Dromana, the city, as well as the high angle rescue team from Dandenong, rushed to the scene at the intersection of Hearn Road and the Esplanade, 5.45pm, Tuesday 24 August. Ambulance Victoria said the man in his 80s was assessed at the scene and found to be in a “stable condition”. He was taken to Frankston Hospital for further observation. Mount Martha CFA Captain Travis Hutchins said the…

POLICE have arrested and charged a Blairgowrie woman who allegedly posed online as a dog breeder and tricked potential buyers into believing they were about to take ownership of French and English bulldog pups. The 42-year-old woman, arrested Thursday 26 August, is alleged to have fleeced six unwitting buyers of a combined $46,000 over the past 15 months. Detective Senior Sergeant Eddie Lagoner, of Somerville CIU, said the woman had been charged with five counts of deception and bailed to appear at Dromana Magistrates’ Court in February. The bogus online “sale” of the pups was exacerbated by lockdown restrictions making…

EQUINE vet Adam Matthews and Mornington trainer Lisa Enright have been questioned by police as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption and illegal activity within the state’s racing industry. Detectives from the sporting integrity intelligence unit executed warrants at Keilor East, Mornington and Wallan from 8.25am on Wednesday, arresting a 38-year-old Keilor East man and a 47-year-old Mornington woman. Police said their investigation was focused on the alleged use of illegal substances in Victorian racing and corrupt betting practices, as well as the use, possession and trafficking of cocaine. Detectives from the sporting integrity intelligence unit spent Wednesday…

FOUR top jockeys who were fined last week for breaching COVID-19 restrictions have been suspended by Racing Victoria for the Spring Racing Carnival. Leading jockeys Jamie Kah and Ben Melham, who were scheduled to ride in the Group 1 Menzies Stakes at Mornington last Saturday, as well as Ethan Brown and Celine Gaudray, were nabbed after a complaint about a “noisy party” at a property in Tallis Drive, midnight Wednesday 25 August. On Saturday stewards also hit a fifth jockey, Mark Zahra, with a three-month ban for attending the party. Senior Sergeant Kirby Tonkin, of Mornington police, said six people…