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“HIDDEN” political donations and the high number of lobbyists given access to federal parliament were high on the list of topics covered by an online Q&A organised by Voices for Mornington Peninsula. VMP says it will choose an independent candidate to contest the seat of Flinders at the next federal election. In November, the seat will have been held for the past 20 years by Liberal Greg Hunt. VMP says it “seeks to restore and promote a participatory democracy where community voices are represented, and elected members act with honesty, integrity, and accountability”. The group’s chair Louise Page said about…

FRANKSTON Civic Centre was evacuated and a member of Mount Eliza Bowling Club was injured during last week’s earthquake. The epicentre of the 5.9-magnitude earthquake was about 10km below Mansfield, 81km from Melbourne. It was the largest recorded in Victoria and was felt in Tasmania and New South Wales. On the Mornington Peninsula houses, shops and factories shook for about 10 seconds. Two smaller quakes were recorded at 9.30am and 9.54am and there were no other reports of injury or property damage on the peninsula. The Mount Eliza man, in his 70s, was treated at the scene for upper body…

A TRAILER equipped with CCTV cameras is helping Mornington police watch out for crime. The solar powered trailer can be parked anywhere, making it especially valuable during the warmer months while keeping an eye on schoolies and during police operation Summersafe. “It provides a great deterrent to would-be criminals and also assists us in detecting and preventing crime,” Senior Sergeant Paul Edwards said. “We have access to the footage in both real time and stored. The footage remains inside the equipment for four weeks before being overwritten.” Senior Sergeant Edwards can look through the camera while sitting at his office…

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…

SNAKES are starting to emerge from their winter hibernation and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has issued a warning to walkers to wear long pants and stick to paths, particularly near long grass or water. “Most snake bites occur when people try to capture or kill a snake,” senior wildlife management officer, Rebecca Dixon said. Snake most often sought the fastest escape route but, if cornered and feeling threatened, would defend themselves. The most common species found on the Mornington Peninsula and around Frankston were the eastern brown snake, followed by red-bellied black snakes and tiger…

EFFORTS to save an historic section of Flinders pier have been reinforced with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council voting unanimously to back its retention. The decision adds impetus to the efforts of the Flinders Community Association to have the 180-metre long timber section added to the Victorian Heritage Register (“Heritage bid adds time for ageing pier” The News 7/9/21). It also acknowledges the backing of environment “royalty” Sir David Attenborough who stepped in to bat for the pier as a way of protecting the habitat of the weedy seadragon (“Attenborough supports Flinders pier” The News 12/7/21). The Save Flinders Pier group’s…