Protection needed from harm caused by poker machines
The issue of poker machines and their impact on society has been neglected for far too long by authorities (“New rules aimed at cutting pokies losses” The News 25/7/23).
There is a growing demand to address the issue of addiction and financial ruin caused by this form of gambling. Recognising that those struggling with addiction are not lesser individuals and require support to overcome their struggles is essential. The machines are designed to entice players with the possibility of winning, which is not fair or kind.
Taking action to prevent further harm caused by poker machines is crucial. While venues may resist change, it is necessary for society’s wellbeing.
Watching people lose money to these machines is disheartening, especially when the chance of winning is minimal. This habit is destructive and can cause immense suffering for families.
It is time for stricter laws to be implemented, regardless of the financial benefits to the community. It is time to address this social difficulty and take action to protect individuals and families from the harm caused by poker machines.
Anne Kruger, Rye
Decision and discussion
Good things are happening on the Mornington Peninsula. Firstly, [Planning Minister and Carrum MP] Sonya Kilkenny placed an interim order on the planning application for what has been termed the Great Wall of Frankston. A planning issue that has implications for the whole Mornington Peninsula.
Secondly, there were two very successful and informative discussions on the Voice to Parliament at Flinders on Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July. Marcia Langton, Rachelle Perkins and Tony Nutt in discussion with Corrie Perkin spoke truthfully and factually about the implications of this very serious issue (“Two Yes Voice events at Flinders” The News 3/7/23).
As with Teela Reid, who spoke at the Swan Forum in Mount Eliza the previous week, they stressed that before you vote take the time to inform yourself with the truthful facts.
Marilyn Hoban, Mornington
Ovals for homeless
Maybe each community on the Mornington Peninsula that has a sports oval could make the ovals available, say around 5pm, setting up tents that are provided by others, making use for the homeless the toilet and wash facilities that are already there (“Nightly search to find shelter” The News 25/7/23). The facilities would be cleaned every day and also provide large waste bins and having food vans that sell hot food and soups come on site each evening.
I am sure there are groups in the community that could set all this up.
Anne Robinson, Mornington
Judging by what I saw as an arrogant defensive rant from our esteemed mayor, Cr Steve Holland at the expense of the intelligence of those who he is supposed to be humbly representing, perhaps it is time he left the job. He is obviously not enjoying it (“Councils carry the load” Letters 18/7/23).
I note too with some bewilderment and amusement that he considers himself “a politician”. Of course, councils are regarded as the “third level of government”, but I recall a time not too long ago when councillors took on the role for the public good, paid only a paltry stipend for their services to the community. They would not have seen themselves as “politicians”.
The Mirriam Webster dictionary defines politician as: 1) a person experienced in the art or science of government; and 2) a person engaged in party politics as a profession or (often disparaging) a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons.
Perhaps when we vote for councillors in future we should first ascertain which of these definitions apply?
Paula Polson, Dromana
Unlock the potential
Congratulations to Sorrento for its first prize win in the Small Town category at the TAC Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards on Wednesday.
Congratulations also to Red Hill South for winning second prize in the Tiny Town category.
The Mornington Peninsula continues to receive well-deserved recognition, recently attaining the Founder’s Award at the National Australian Road Safety Awards and announced as the overall winner.
The awards are a testament to our community, its people and businesses. I’d also like to acknowledge the work of Mornington Peninsula Shire staff, most of whom are residents. They work tirelessly for our community and ensure we’re putting our best foot forward. The shire will have the awards proudly on display soon.
Now we need the money to follow.
For too long our region hasn’t received the funding we deserve. Great things are being achieved and too often, as a council and community, we’re going it alone.
A report last year found that Greater Geelong has $6.2 billion worth of infrastructure projects in the pipeline compared to just $0.72 billion for Frankston and the peninsula. It’s raining cash and we’re not getting wet.
Despite a dearth in external funding, the shire continues to kick goals.
Residents can be proud that their shire is one of the most efficient in Victoria compared to similar municipalities. They can also be pleased that the shire has the eighth lowest rates in Victoria out of 79 councils, debt is low, and a balanced budget is delivered every year.
We’re all fortunate to be able to call this special part of the world home. It’s the envy of many and millions flock to the peninsula every year.
It’s time for our state and federal governments to step up and unlock the potential of this region.
Steve Holland, mayor Mornington Peninsula Shire
I was pleased to learn today that Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors have passed a motion to request the entire shire be excluded from the commercial kangaroo shooting industry.
This is wonderful news, and the councillors should be congratulated on taking this stance.
Karen Gelley, Rye
Need council view
The survey also shows the increase in crime in Frankston and did not discuss drugs issues and the use of vapes in the City of Frankston (“Survey show satisfaction with city’s overall performance” Letters 25/7/23).
Frankston Council has just released delivering its Frankston News in the areas around the CBD, not in libraries or Karingal and other parts of the city..
With the state government policy to take away planning powers from Victorian councils, which may be the first step in dissolving councils altogether, we need to know what the present council’s position on the government’s moves is.
The council has failed to approve high-rise apartment blocks which are needed to increase population, especially around Frankston station where 500 car parks have begun to be built.
Councillors electioneering should not be paid for by ratepayers but by councillors themselves.
Russell Morse, Karingal
Australians are proud of their unique wildlife and would be shocked that we have the world’s worst record for mammal extinction.
As recently as two years ago, then environment minister Sussan Ley announced a further 12 Australian mammals were extinct, bringing the total to 34. These included the desert bettong, broad-cheeked hopping mouse and Nullarbor barred bandicoot.
Incredibly, Australia has more than 1900 threatened species with over 1300 at risk of extinction.
On the Mornington Peninsula, for example, more than 50 animals and plants are threatened, including the endangered southern brown bandicoot and the vulnerable long-nosed potoroo.
But why? The main causes of extinction are predation by feral animals and habitat destruction through land clearing, and climate change is catching up.
Last year, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, launched the Threatened Species Action Plan pledging no new extinctions and conservation of at least 30 per cent of Australia’s land mass.
Her Nature Repair Market Bill has been delayed because of concerns that tradeable biodiversity certificates used to offset habitat destruction elsewhere still allow environmental decline to continue.
In 2020, Professor Graeme Samuel said the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act was “ineffective and not fit to address current or future environmental challenges”. He went on to make 38 recommendations which are still under consideration by the minister.
Like climate change, Australia is dragging the chain on biodiversity protection. It’s time we got our act together.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
Headline: Claims consumers may be paying ‘too much’ for power after big falls in wholesale prices. Headline: The final Victorian default offer electric prices have been announced, representing an annual increase of 25 per cent. Headline: Energy Australia confirmed prices for gas customers in Victoria on variable market contracts will rise by an average of 26.7 per cent.
My electric increase: daily charge plus 47 per cent, usage plus 36 per cent, solar feed in less 10 per cent. My gas increase: daily supply plus 31 per cent, usage plus 94 per cent to plus 100 per cent. And all after the industry continues to reap super price gouging profits.
The ACCC’s most recent report on the electricity market states that “not even government-run energy comparison websites reflected the true cost of bills”. In essence the retailers all have basically the same rates.
Headline: Getting off gas: What you need to know before going electric. Answer: you are screwed either way.
Interesting that the headline on the ESC website is: Essential Services Commission, we promote the long-term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services.
We will need at least another two interest rate increases to cut inflation after this and another four increases to cut inflation after the rich and greedy get their stage three tax cuts.
Tell the Essential Services Commission and the Premier Daniel Andrews that enough is enough.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
I write to clarify comments made in your article regarding the Hastings Soundshell project, particularly “Assurance was given by Cr Kate Roper that the project would be included in the 2021/22 shire budget … or subsequent budgets” (“Disappointment and dismay’ at sound shell’s shelving” The News 26/7/23). I was not a councillor after October 2020 and had no input in final budgets for 2021/22 or 2022/23. My assurance was true and correct as at the last meeting I attended regarding the project in 2020.
My interest in progressing this project as a member of Western Port Festival committee in 2012 and 2013, was the cost and difficulty of getting temporary stages. I had previously heard of the project and in late 2016 met with Brian Stahl to discuss reviving this project.
We weren’t trying to build the Opera House. Large concerts like Jimmy Barnes bring their own stage. This was for a stage something larger than the Balnarring Civic Reserve platform, which could be used for markets, bands, outdoor cinema and presentations at sports and other events on the foreshore.
It is a brilliant space for such activities. Throughout 2017 regular meetings were held. By 2019 numbers of interested community members attending meetings had grown to 10 to 15. We had consultants give design ideas sympathetic to the foreshore.
I found shire officers always supportive of this project to activate the foreshore. I especially commend the two senior officers that were enthusiastic and worked hard to try and bring this project to fruition. Officers make recommendations, not decisions.
It’s disappointing I agree that the time and effort from all parties has not led to a successful conclusion due to various circumstances, but I’d like to thank those who tried and gave their time over many years.
Kate Roper, councillor Mornington Peninsula Shire Council