Baffled by political party and opinions from afar
I am more baffled by a certain political party every day. First I (and presumably every other household on the Mornington Peninsula) find in my letterbox a glossy full coloured brochure from our [Flinders] MP Zoe McKenzie explaining all about past wars, together with an Anzac Day timetable of events (which will later appear all over the place).
This is one of the few missives I have had from her since the six or seven promoting her before the [May 2022 federal] election. I am unsure how this helps us in her electorate and what this cost us. Then to confuse me still further, I find three out of the nine letters in the Letters page of The News were from people outside the peninsula – namely Hawthorn, West Australia and Heathmont. Oh, and one from Kew.
The Hawthorn one praised McKenzie for her trip to COP27, and the WA and Heathmont ones promote a No vote at the coming referendum.
Seeing for some reason we already voted a Liberal member in, do we need to be hounded in this way by people from outside our electorate? And should these letters be published in this local paper?
Paula Polson, Dromana
Multiple references to construction at Jetty Road, Rosebud were lacking in factual accuracy (“Overpassing the buck” Letters 25/4/23). So, let’s take a moment to fix that.
The former federal government did commit $75 million for the Jetty Road overpass and sound mitigation on the Mornington Peninsula Freeway. It was in the 2019/20 budget, which has been confirmed multiple times, including by this publication.
Now to be fair, the letter also asked questions, so let’s answer them.
The then Liberal candidate (the LNP only exist in Queensland) Sam Groth announced a further $100 million in funding for the intersection on 19 October 2022, a fact which again was easily searchable online.
Current works have been underway since December 2022 at Jetty Road and planning has been underway well before this, a fact confirmed by VicRoads.
Also confirmed by VicRoads was that the $5 million for these works came from the former government’s Urban Congestion Fund.
Interestingly, VicRoads can also confirm that “Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) has completed its planning and development work to inform the business case for the potential future upgrade of Mornington Peninsula Freeway between Jetty and Boneo roads in Rosebud. The Business Case has been submitted to the Australian Government for consideration”.
I wonder if there will be a similar level of exploratory questioning as to why the now government hasn’t released this business case or whether this upgrade will follow the trend of Victorian projects headed for considerable delay, despite federal funding being available.
Sadly, even the most rudimentary of searches answered questions [raised in the letter] and found the statements to be inaccurate.
It is commendable that local MPs fight for their communities and, hopefully, with questions now answered [the letter writer] will now join the cause.
Mathew Langdon, Malvern
Editor’s note: Mathew Langdon was previously on the staff of former Flinders MP Greg Hunt and, for a short time, his Liberal Party successor Zoe McKenzie.
I was most surprised to read that the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s CEO John Baker saw his most recent secret dealings with the Peninsula Aero Club as posing a “Reputational risk to council from the inevitable and very public accusations that we have carved up a ‘preferential’ deal behind closed doors with the airfield” (“Community input missing from ‘closed door’ negotiations” Letters 25/4/23).
It was surprising because this was hardly a one-off. It was symptomatic of an ingrained culture of secrecy and obfuscation that has infested the council in recent times.
The damage that has already been done to the reputation of the council is evidenced by the findings of the most recent state-wide local government community satisfaction study. The study shows that the reputation of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has sunk to significantly below the state average and is now at its lowest level ever recorded.
There is no smoke without fire. Calls for an investigation into the operation and governance of our council are well justified.
David Chalke, Tyabb
I am getting tired of uninformed people telling me that I am uninformed about the forthcoming referendum for the Voice.
I understand perfectly and I’d like to say so.
We are to vote on a change to the constitution to allow people of a certain race within Australia to have direct access to parliament to express their views on matters concerning themselves; this view, or Voice, to have no legal standing and able to be ignored.
Not much better than a lobbyist, you would think. Parliament can extend the powers and functions of the Voice in the future as and when required.
We are being asked to sign a blank cheque and allow our highly trusted politicians to fill in the details on the blank cheque later. Perhaps the legal situation might need to be changed, later on. A little bit of detail would help. I can’t see any business plan. Does this Voice represent all of the Aboriginals out in the never-never outback and elsewhere and Thursday Island? How all of the tribal elders will be consulted and who will represent them, and how, is not known.
Presumably, our city dwelling Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders have assimilated, enjoying all of the benefits that Australian society offers any Australian, and their opinion on outback matters is less relevant.
Altering the constitution is a very serious business.
Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington
Another bulk billing clinic bites the dust. Dromana Family Practice reluctantly is no longer bulk billing. Unfortunately, it hurts pensioners striving to live the hardest.
New research reveals there are federal electorates where no doctors offer bulk-billing
I wish to give my heartfelt thanks to [past] Coalition health ministers Peter Dutton, Sussan Ley, Greg Hunt and of course former prime minister Scott Morrison, secret health minister, for freezing rebates for a decade while handing out billions to their political cronies and marginal electorates, oh yeah, almost forgot Robodebt.
It defies reason that GPs and pensioners continue to vote against their own best interests.
Now the COALition calls for the government to deal with the aged care “crisis” after 10 years of neglect.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
Cash not king
Last Saturday I had my first experience of cash being declared illegal when my grandson wanted to go to [a fast food outlet] in Cranbourne Road Frankston. We joined the drive-through line and when it was our turn we were informed that it was card only.
I paid by card but, surely, this should be my choice as the customer, not theirs to place restrictions on trade. Last time I looked cash was still legal tender in Australia and can still be traded for goods.
If these companies continue to pursue these type of policies they will lose customers as this particular outlet has done with me and dare I say it many like-minded people like me.
Eventually, by paying everything by card, this will lead to the banks putting on a transaction charge just as they did in the early days of ATM usage.
John Roberts, Frankston
I found a lovely fine gold chain with an attached pendant at Bentons Square car park on Monday 24 April. It probably belongs to an older person, and I would love to find the owner as I think it would have a lot of sentimental value.
I don’t want to give any details about the pendant as if the owner can describe it, then I would be assured that it is hers.
Gaye Morrison, email@example.com
If you watch TV, listen to the radio, use a digital device or attend sporting matches in various codes, you are subjected to a constant stream of gambling ads.
So are your kids.
Research shows that excessive promotion has led to the “normalisation” of gambling as a part of sport, with disturbing consequences.
Children are growing up to believe that sport is a gambling product, that the value of sport is measured by the odds, and that betting on sport is a rite of passage into adulthood.
In partnership with more than 700 professional and community sports clubs in a range of codes across the state, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is fighting against these trends.
May is Love the Game month, and this year we’re encouraging parents, teachers, coaches and other role models to participate in activities that demonstrate to kids that sport and betting don’t have to go together.
Love the Game Challenge activities include turning off your phone during live matches, finding ways to talk about sport that don’t refer to the odds and deleting betting apps from your phone.
Visit lovethegame.vic.gov.au for more information and join our partner clubs, including Victoria’s 10 AFL teams, to show kids that sport is about loving the game, not the odds.
Shane Lucas, CEO, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
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: firstname.lastname@example.org