Inquiry off track
I have not been able to crack Mornington Peninsula Shire’s codes and find out much more about the $85,000 inquiry into Mornington’s Beleura cliff path, the contract for which will apparently be signed soon.
What is not a secret is that the Friends of the Beleura Cliff Path take a very different view to the shire on how the landslips and closure issues should be handled.
In the course of our working bees over eight years, we have been studying these issues closely and constantly begging the shire to tackle certain problems. Now we are still working cooperatively with them, trying to get them to change course.
We don’t believe the primary issue is a geo-tech issue. There is a shire mindset that the path is inherently unstable. We think the main issues are 1) Faulty drains, irrigation and pools of the houses above the path, and 2) Poor or non-existent shire management. Why pay $85,000 to avoid targeting the main causes?
We fear the thrust of the $85,000 inquiry is to seek to blame the path itself for its problems and avoid the uncomfortable issue of mismanagement.
We believe all five landslips of the path (2003, 2011, 2013, and two in 2022) have been caused by drain failures damaging stable areas of the path. None was caused by a spontaneous collapse of the path.
Peter Nicholson, organiser Friends of the Beleura Cliff Path
Reserve for all
Three years of the COVID pandemic have shown what a difference a strong caring community can make. A frightening time for children; the lack of structure; no school, no sport, limited friendship contact. All while witnessing stressed parents working from home or in front line occupations. Thus, a diverse group of adults came together who were concerned about our local children, many who were sad, lonely and at times acting out at home and elsewhere.
Through Zoom sessions and discussions with Cr David Gill and Mornington Peninsula Shire officers we sought to develop a bikes jump area at Stone’s Reserve, Somers. The benefits to health and wellbeing by connecting with the environment and outdoor activities are well known; more recent studies show the negative impacts on developing brains due to addictions to screen time, gaming and social media.
The 20 February community meeting was another opportunity to discuss the Stones Reserve master plan, including the bike jumps. Unfortunately, perhaps not everyone read or considered the two detailed plans and, sadly, mischievous misinformation caused great angst, resulting in a volatile meeting (“Bike jump not needed at ‘safe’ reserve” Letters 28/2/23).
Stone’s Reserve is used from early morning by runners, cyclists and dog walkers through to primary school parents parking there before children take the “walking bus” to school.
Add pre-school outdoor activities, craft clubs, exercise classes, school sports activities with the playground showing a constant stream of young parents and older grandparents through the day supervising babes and toddlers, afternoon tennis lessons and competitions, footy/cricket practice, scouts’ meetings, gatherings and hall activities.
Such diverse and constant use means change is inevitable, which can be discomforting for some, but consideration of all is what makes a good community.
Pam Bannister, Somers
I had to read the front page article twice (“Partnership ‘opportunities’ assured” The News 28/2/23). Another clear disconnect between Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors and ratepayers regarding what I see as “the Roper River rort”.
Who and where did this idea come from to have another “sister” arrangement (Timor) with Roper River? Have ratepayers been cooperating with the Roper River community for 15 years? Who knew?
There is nothing in common with our two communities. We are both in Australia, but one you can’t visit without a permit.
Who are the peninsula residents who have been having discussions with the Roper River community? Are they more significant than the dozens of other community groups? We have all sorts of sports clubs which all need new facilities.
Sharing hopes and dreams applies to any community, especially our own.
[This] explains why there is no time or money for our potholes.
Stefan S Borzecki, Somerville
Just so that people do not misconstrue my motives, I thought I should expand on them (“No gain in Roper Gulf ‘partnership’” Letters 7/3/23). The motive is to expose what I consider to be an overt move by some councillors to provide themselves with a ratepayer funded winter holiday to a warmer climate.
I have been to Arnhem Land three times. I have camped at the Roper River Bar. Additionally, I have been to the Northern Territory six times and, based on that experience, I can say without fear of contradiction that we, of the Mornington Peninsula, have nothing in common with that area, nor do they have a single thing that is of any value to our collective knowledge or experience as a municipal area. It is a holiday destination.
If one turns up the Wikipedia item on the Roper River Council area one will find that there are no towns that are big enough to even rate as suburbs of our peninsula. There are 14 towns listed, with less than 400 people. The only ones likely to be heard of by ratepayers here are Mataranka, the home of The Little Black Princess and Daly Waters, the home of the best pub in Australia.
I challenge all and every councillor to demonstrate how this area justifies any council expenditure of any kind in promoting or continuing a “partnership” with our shire. I put it to all councillors that there is none.
Let’s hear from one of our exalted leaders what the justification is. Cr Anthony Marsh should be a wealth of knowledge on the subject, having been there at ratepayer’s expense. I paid my own way every time.
Barry James Rumpf, McCrae
Airport came first
The Tyabb airport preceded the four schools, nearby housing development and purchase of nearby hilltop properties (“Close airfield” Letters 7/3/23).
Because of the cost of fuel there is now less flying for most of the year, rarely at night. Pilots do not fly at night for fun.
With the growth in air travel, pilots need a training field. Tyabb has a valuable role here including helicopter fire and rescue flights.
We live at the other end of the strip and enjoy the variety of craft going over. In the past 25 years our sleep has never been interrupted by aircraft noise.
In lighter moments I wave to passing planes and, I’m told, they wave back.
Fran Henke, Hastings
Perhaps inadvertently, a problem with the proposed Aboriginal “Voice to Parliament” has been exposed (“Voice explained” Letters 7/3/23). That is, who is to decide who is and who is not Aboriginal? Are we to have an “apartheid” style race classification board?
Albert Riley, Mornington
Set in constitution
Why is it necessary that the Voice be enshrined in the constitution when it could be simply legislated?
Answer: So that if another right-wing neoliberal evangelical Pentecostal psuedo-Christian racist government were elected they couldn’t shut it down.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
Letters – 300 words maximum and including full name, address and contact number – can be sent to The News, PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or emailed to: email@example.com