Month: May 2014

Police have labelled rumours that a man has been trying to “lure” kids near Benton Junior College in Mornington as “a classic case of Chinese whispers”. A Facebook post dated 28 May claimed: “The police were at school today warning teachers and parents that there has been a man approaching and trying to lure kids with him by approaching them playing in the street and from their front fences. He was last seen in Marriott Dve wearing a Muppets T-shirt and a hat, however they don’t yet know his age. Please share with other mums on the peninsula.” The…

THE thrust of Plan Melbourne – released last week by the state government – is to coordinate population and housing growth with employment and transport planning on a state-wide basis. And the strategy is “very positive’’ for the Mornington Peninsula, according to mayor Antonella Celi. Its local focus is on commitment to a permanent urban growth boundary, development of the Port of Hastings, support for protection of high-quality agricultural land and ensuring the environmental qualities of Western Port and Port Phillip are protected. “Our residents love the peninsula as it is, they support appropriate development and new opportunities, particularly for…

THE new emergency department at the revamped Frankston hospital will be three times the size of the old one with three new wards. It was of special interest to Health Minister David Davis who last week inspected the four-storey hospital redevelopment due to be completed next year. The $80.9 million works are said to be ‘’on time and on budget’’. Standing on top of the building Mr Davis said: “The Frankston Hospital Emergency Department is one of the busiest in the state with close to 60,000 attendees each year, and this expansion will help meet that demand.” The department will…

WINNING the Best Picnic Racing Club in Victoria award for the third year in a row – and the fifth in six years – proves Balnarring is doing something right. Club president Peter Spyker accepted the accolade at the annual Picnic Racing Awards at Amstel Golf Club, Cranbourne, on May 17. He praised the ‘’hard work by the committee and generous support from members, sponsors, owners, trainers and jockeys who race at Balnarring and the public who attend our meetings’’- and singled out the Weymouth family for their involvement. He also acknowledged support from Country Racing Victoria. Club secretary Neil Heathcote…

THE thrust of Plan Melbourne – released last week by the state government – is to coordinate population and housing growth with employment and transport planning on a state-wide basis. And the strategy is ‘’very positive’’ for the Mornington Peninsula, according to mayor Antonella Celi. Its local focus is on commitment to a permanent urban growth boundary, development of the Port of Hastings, support for protection of high-quality agricultural land and ensuring the environmental qualities of Western Port and Port Phillip are protected. “Our residents love the Peninsula as it is, they support appropriate development and new opportunities, particularly for…

A COUNCILLOR walkout forced the abandonment of the Special Purposes Committee meeting held on 19 May when two confidential items came up for debate. Veteran council watchers could not recall any previous councillor walkout at Mornington Peninsula Shire. It was a dramatic and pivotal moment in shire events. The meeting had reached agenda item 3, “Confidential Items”. The minutes record that “Cr Fraser and Cr Rodgers left the meeting before consideration of this item and did not return”. Hugh Fraser and Tim Rodgers represent Nepean ward. The meeting was then adjourned at 5.50pm. The minutes state that “Cr. Colomb left…

IMAGES of musician Paul Kelly will help make the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery an even more interesting place to visit until 20 July. An exhibition of portraits of the songster will take over the gallery walls and intrigue fans and art lovers alike. Paul Kelly and the Portraits National Portrait Gallery Touring exhibition showcases his performance persona and the more elusive aspects of his character. The exhibition presents a multifaceted portrait of the artist over his career. Known as ‘the people’s poet’, Kelly’s portraits are by artists and leading music photographers. Kelly’s ‘bread and butter’ is performing publicly. His songs…

COMMENT CR Frank Martin has quit his Red Hill ward at a most interesting moment in Mornington Peninsula Shire history. He has been a crucial vote at a time when important matters have been, and are being, decided. Mr Martin, an affable and personable man who had skill and experience to offer his ratepayers, has resigned because of illness. It opens up possibilities, after the byelection the vacancy triggers, for substantial changes in the way the shire goes about its business. First, continuance of the long dominance of the David Gibb-Anne Shaw councillor group of six is teetering. Mr Martin…

A FRANKSTON South retiree has been left homeless and heartbroken after being swindled out of her life savings in a sophisticated online love scam. Carole Ross, 64, lost more than $200,000, including all of her superannuation savings, after being duped by a “love interest” she met through an online dating website. “This has destroyed me,” Ms Ross said. “I’m emotionally distraught and financially ruined; I’ve lost my home, all my retirement savings, and my car is about to be repossessed. My life is ruined.” While well aware of the dangers of online dating and romance scams, Ms Ross never thought…

NEPEAN INTERLEAGUE By Toe Punt DESPITE an under strength Nepean League team going into battle at Rosebud’s Olympic Park on Saturday, it proved far too strong for Central Murray FL on Saturday. Nepean League dominated in the opening and last quarters to run out comfortable 16.12.108 to 9.15.69 winners. Central Murray FL got with two goals on a couple of occasions late in the second quarter and got within five points in the third, but they were no match for the locals when the game was there to be won. It was no surprise that Nepean league won the match,…

PENINSULA INTERLEAGUE By Toe Punt PENINSULA league coach Stevey Ryan believes that unless the league’s governing body, PCN Sports Alliance, gets behind representative football, the competition will go backwards. Ryan made the claim in the wake of the Peninsula League’s 85-point belting at the hands of Geelong Football League at Simmons Stadium on Saturday. Whilst the 21 players who represented the league did their very best, they were no match for the Geelong FL, who dominated from start to finish to win 18.18.126 to 6.5.41. Peninsula League was held scoreless in the final quarter and booted just two goals in…

A 33-YEAR-OLD woman was arrested at Patterson Lakes last night (Tuesday 20 May) after a half-hour police pursuit across the Mornington Peninsula. Rosebud highway patrol Sgt Peter Martin told The News a member of the public called police when he saw a car travelling erratically in Safety Beach at about 9pm on Tuesday evening. The driver refused to stop when police tried to intercept the car, forcing officers to pursue the vehicle for almost 40km. Sgt Martin said no-one was injured during the chase. “We’re grateful to the man who called to report the driver,” he said. “The man was…

FREELANCE photographer Daryl Gordon is fascinated by the connection between Balnarring and its people – and this interest has led to an exhibition focusing on “that single frame, that single moment in time’’. The Balnarring Portrait Project 2013 is being held at the Apple Stick Gallery from May 30 to June 8 from 5-7pm. Its focus is on 120 images of those who visited his ‘pop-up’ studios in the village last year. “I have always had a fascination with the storytelling and archival/documentary nature of still photography,’’ he told The News. “So, for history’s sake, I’m setting about documenting the…

FORMER Frankston mayor Christine Richards made the rejuvenation of Frankston’s railway station, surrounds and its bus interchange a priority when she was a councillor and has not given up the dream of seeing change at the long-time blight on Frankston’s reputation. Ms Richards called time on her council stint in 2012 after serving a four-year term as a councillor. She decided to try to find a work-life balance in the wake of a bout of cancer. However, she has now decided to try to effect change for the better from outside the environs of city hall by establishing the Frankston…

THIEVES who stole a rescue kit under cover of darkness at Arthur Seat’s Enchanted Maze Gardens earlier this month returned the ill-gotten gains last week. Business owner Michael Savage said the kit, worth more than $2500, was thrown over the fence of the tree climbing section at the premises. Mr Savage reckoned the theft by three male and one female intruder just after midnight on Tuesday 29 April had been “opportunistic” but said their actions had still cost him money (‘Tree surfing intruders steal show’, The News, 6/5/14). “I still had to buy a back-up rescue kit to replace the…

NEPEAN LEAGUE By Toe Punt RED HILL has claimed top spot on the Nepean League ladder after leading all day to beat Crib Point. In the battle for top spot, Red Hill jumped out of the blocks and led at every change, eventually winning 14.8-92 to 10.13-73. The Hillmen dethroned the Magpies at the top of the ladder, led by Marcus Dal Lago and YCW recruit Paul Wintle. In attack, Red Hill continues to get maximum benefit from Jarrod Eames, who finished with four goals, while Ben Maguiness (three majors) is getting forward and contributing on the scoreboard, something that…

PENINSULA LEAGUE By Toe Punt FRANKSTON YCW flexed its muscles on Saturday and once again highlighted that it is the measuring stick in Peninsula League, thrashing Edithvale-Aspendale. Heading to the home of the reigning premier has become a frightful experience for most clubs in the past couple of seasons, however it held no fears for the Stonecats on Saturday. YCW led at every change, extended their lead throughout and finished with a ten goal to three hammering in the last 30 minutes, winning 22.20-152 to 9.11-65. The Eagles can thank their lucky stars that the visitors struggled for accuracy in…

IT was a night to remember, this startling, shocking glimpse of councillors in a state of loosened fiscal décolletage, a heady, sensual recline into monetary abandonment. And that was just the men. It was shire councillors having their version of a Boxing Day-sale, cash gone in a flash and, like the recent federal budget, only capable of being fully comprehended days later. It was your rate money – $113,934 of it – whooshing out into the community at the dizzying rate of a rotunda here ($19,900), a war memorial there ($20,000), $1000 of wrist bands over yonder. All in one…

EMMA Hall is a big hitter. The Mount Martha resident began playing tennis seriously when she was 11 years old and left Australia to head off to the US in the late 1990s to play tennis professionally, having made her name on the Australian juniors circuit. The 34-year-old is now set to have her US achievements immortalised in the Big South Conference Hall of Fame this week. It’s a long way from her tennis career beginnings at Main Ridge tennis club and current stint as Rosebud Tennis Club’s section 1 team captain, leading the team to “back to back” premierships…

YOUNG Mornington Peninsula sailors Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski recently set sail for Europe as part of the Australian Sailing Team after being selected to represent their country at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Pietromonaco, 22, from the Westernport Yacht Club and Wierzbowski, also 22, from Merricks Yacht Club, learned in March they had won places on the 15-member national Olympic sailing team and are now competing in a full itinerary of international events across Europe. The long-time stars of peninsula sailing are competing together in the new discipline of Mixed Multihull in the fastest Olympic sailing class, the Nacra 17.…

IT is that time of year again, when the International Cool Climate Wine Show is held here on the Mornington Peninsula. This annual event is now in its 15th successful year and is recognised as one of the best boutique wine shows in Australia. With an experienced judging panel lead by Meg Broadtman MW, the wine show offers participants from cool climate wine regions the opportunity to showcase their wines. Owned and organized by the Red Hill Agricultural & Horticultural Show, and held at the Mornington Racing Club, it was originally established to help benchmark cool climate wines. Since 2000,…

FROM her first memory, Gina Poulos was taught to give. A migrant family from Cyprus, she recalls there always being people at their house, and those people never leaving empty handed. “When we arrived in Australia, we settled in Traralgon. I always remember my parents being very generous people and they taught us to always give people whatever we had” said Mrs Poulos. Her father eventually owned rental properties in the area. Sometimes the people renting the houses had fallen on hard times, so when they came around to pay the rent, the family made sure they never left empty…

The News interviewed Tommy Hafey in October last year. The interview, entitled “Hafey: I love people” is reprinted below in memory of a great and gracious man. By Andrew Kelly In the world of AFL Football, there are not many bigger names in the game than Thomas Stanley Raymond Hafey. The man dubbed T-shirt Tommy by the great commentator Lou Richards, has coached at four VFL-AFL Clubs, is one of five coaches to have coached more than 500 games in the history of the game, has coached teams to 10 grand finals and four premierships and has had 18 former…

EARLY morning fog rolled in over Port Phillip Bay on Monday 12 May. It settled into a low cloud cover that lasted till late afternoon. Viewed from atop Arthurs Seat, the eerie mist resembled a white cotton wool blanket, as it hugged the Mornington Peninsula coast. Picture: Yanni

AMNESTY International has delivered a petition to Flinders MP Greg Hunt highlighting concern at the federal government’s treatment of asylum seekers. The human rights group has demanded the government respond to its report on “cruel and humiliating” conditions at the Manus Island detention centre detailed by Amnesty International investigators who visited the Papua New Guinea facility late last year. Federal environment minister Mr Hunt agreed to meet Amnesty International peninsula branch members Kevin Bain, Barbara McKenzie and Anne Blight last Friday to discuss their views about offshore processing of refugees. The trio and other volunteers gathered more than 500 signatures…