Budget help to probe Buruli


APART from national issues, the federal budget contained few specific finance packages for the Mornington Peninsula.

The largest was nearly $1.5 million for Stopping Buruli ulcer in Victoria, the flesh eating ulcer that in 2019 became prevalent on the southern peninsula.

The budget also included $300,000 for “pedestrian safety upgrades” at Arthurs Seat.

The Buruli money will support 22 research projects under Professor Tim Stinear at University of Melbourne.

Buruli ulcer (BU) is described as a destructive skin and soft tissue infection that can cause permanent deformity.

The National Health and Medical Research Council says the ulcer is caused by a bacteria carried in the guts of possums and spread by mosquitoes to people from areas contaminated by possum faeces.

“A targeted intervention based on screening possum faeces followed by control of mosquitoes in areas where possums and mosquitoes are shown to carry the bacteria will be trialed here, giving public health officials a means to stop this disease,” NHMRC media manager Thea Williams said.

“Arthurs Seat is one of the most picturesque locations on the Mornington Peninsula, with 250,000 locals and tourists visiting the location each year,” Flinders MP Greg Hunt said.

“Last year I met with representatives from the local community, the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Parks Victoria and the Arthurs Seat Eagle to discuss issues around road safety and the numerous close calls pedestrians have navigating the roads at the summit.

The gondola ride’s CEO Tom Smith was quoted in a news release from Mr Hunt’s office as saying his company had been working with Parks Victoria, Victoria Police, the Department of Transport, the Mornington Peninsula Shire and local members of both state and federal parliaments “to continue to ensure that visitors to both the Eagle and the state park can safely enjoy all that is on offer within the summit precinct.”

The Arthurs Seat Eagle is co-owned by businessman and former Australian of the Year Simon McKeon.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 13 October 2020


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