Time running out for comment on harbour options
Have readers taken part in any community consultation about the proposed plan to commercialise Mornington harbour, put up by Parks Victoria? Not likely, as there is no publicity.
Do we want to see another long jetty built alongside the existing one? Do we want to lose the moorings for the yachts that are part of our harbour landscape?
Yes, Fisherman’s jetty needs rebuilding – and the government has budgeted $4 million to do so – but now Parks has come up with further options for the future. That jetty may have an extra platform and hook. There may be visits from the Enterprize tall ship; there may be a ferry service from Docklands to Mornington and this would need a bigger turning circle and a new berth.
Imagine being seasick in a north westerly trying to berth in the harbour?
And what about the fishers, the divers, the learners trying to berth in front of the yacht club while coping with the swimmers in the water, the paddle boarders and the motorboats coming in with proposed aquaculture produce?
Parks has put up three options and we, the public, are supposed to understand the non-existing rationale for the options. Where are the funds? Where are the environmental protection ideas?
Those of us who were involved in the proposed safe harbour and (abandoned) marina in 2010 and the harbour precinct works in 2014-15 know there are many problems in doing anything in the harbour with its shallow waters, sand movements, rising sea levels and increased storms roaring over the pier and the need for dredging if larger boats are to berth.
We need to act and to respond. The options and the plan are at Mornington Harbour – Local Port Area Plan Project | Engage Victoria and the closing date is 8 December.
Jan Oliver OAM, Mornington
No easy ‘free’ parking
Residents may park free during Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s trial of paid parking at peninsula beaches [but] the process set up by the shire is a case study in “digital discrimination” (Paid parking trial ‘fiasco’ before it begins, The News 28/11/23).
To access free resident parking, you must: Own a computer; go online to the Paystay website; give away lots of personal information; make digital copies of two private documents; upload those documents; download the Paystay app.
As the meerkat says “simples” – not.
Andrew Gibson OAM, Pt Leo
When elected, councillors represent and work for the betterment of the community. They rely on council officers to assist them with various tasks and decision-making processes. These decisions are made after lengthy discussions and necessary inspections are carried out before presenting them at a public council meeting. Consulting the public at every step of the way would consume valuable time and create confusion, as the final product may change significantly by the time it is presented to the public (Transparency backed, but ‘secret’ talks stay, The News 28/11/23).
Cr Antonella Celi said that councillors themselves are the best source to discover what is happening and that there are avenues available for the public to gain insight into the council’s workings.
Anne Kruger, Rye
I went for a walk around Balnarring Civic Court Reserve after not being there for many months.
I saw the new covered bandstand and – from afar – it looks very impressive. However, it quickly became apparent that it is completely inaccessible.
I have pointed out Mornington Peninsula Shire’s failure to consider wheelchair accessibility in its various construction projects on numerous occasions, but this is a new low.
Presumably, the shire thinks that no-one in a wheelchair, or with impaired mobility, will wish to participate in any event that is held on the bandstand? Shame on them.
Bianca Felix, Bittern
I believe the tactics of police using handwritten signs on police cars as part of their industrial action is a criminal offence of Defacing of Government Property.
Possibly the reason why the government has not given the police their wage increases, and other demands is because they need to contain the debt which is blowing out with $6 million a day in interest.
Police numbers are down by 800 and this may be because Australians see policing as too dangerous as the result of the police killed in Queensland and South Australia and the August 1998 murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller, which were highlighted in the Lawyer X scandal.
Police do a dangerous job, but now reality is being felt by the Allan government that the debt has to be paid and to cut the increasing interest bill for that debt.
There needs to be a cut in government public servants and government spending, or more taxes will be handed out to Victorians and Victorian business as seen in the latest the cruise ship tax which will hit the Victorian tourist industry and, of course, employment.
Russell Morse, Karingal
Flag needs answers
As one of the silent vast majority, I don’t think that Mornington Peninsula Shire Council flying the gay pride flag is cute, woke, politically correct, necessary, desirable, or very smart (‘Dialogue’ terminated over flag, The News 28/11/23).
I too would like to know who instigated the action and why; is it permanent and how much ratepayers money is involved?
Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington
The CarbonNet project is funded with state and federal taxpayer money to build a 100 kilometres pipeline from Loy Yang to Golden Beach, supposedly to store carbon dioxide produced from converting brown coal to hydrogen (Carbon capture hoax, Letters 27/11/23). The plan is to store the waste CO2 underneath the sandstone in the Gippsland Basin approximately 1.5km beneath the seabed via pressurised injection wells. Golden Beach has been described as “Gippsland’s secret hideaway paradise.”
The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project will be unable to proceed if the CO2 waste can’t be safely transported and stored. Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia, also trying to store carbon dioxide under sandstone, has run into ongoing technical difficulties causing delays and cost blowouts. The presence of “solids, gas and oil in the water pumped to the surface” has caused disposal issues, and injection pressure has caused earth tremors.
Chevron, which has already spent over $3 billion on CO2 injection, is planning a “significant additional investment” to modify the wells.
There’s a strong possibility that any taxpayer money spent on the CarbonNet HESC project will go the same way — money down the well.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
Gardens are good
How good are community gardens (Growing community spirit, The News 28/11/23)? A friendly outdoor space to meet with others, learn and share ideas, and grow fresh, seasonal produce is very special indeed.
In my experience, community garden gatherings and working bees also offer sensational freshly baked food.
Growing your own is not only more sustainable, but usually more nutritious and cheaper than buying from the shops. It’s therefore wonderful that community gardens are increasing in number across the peninsula.
Those keen to get growing can contact Mornington Peninsula Shire’s community gardens coordinator.
Amy Hiller, Kew
Sighs of Christmas
Oh Dear, oh deer, oh not more reindeer.
Searching in vain for some other stable animals such as lowing cattle, or bleating lambs, I was overwhelmed by crass commercial exploitative children’s art adorning Main Street, Mornington.
One glimmer in the dark were some symbolic stars topping Christmas trees, so congrats to those primary schoolies. Boo bah sucks to the rest of the tosh.
Full marks to the colourful display boards that brighten up the streetscape, and the good news is that there are plenty of empty boards for us God botherers, people of faith, church attendees whose lives are undoubtedly extended by congregating in friendly, supportive, charitable funds provision, missionary providers and, yes, some free child minding, not to mention the delicious cookies that my church serves to one and all.
Space for a gentle reminder that all you non-believers get a wonderful holiday because a baby was born in a Bethlehem stable with adoring parents, animals all around, a star outside to guide some big wigs who kindly gave some perfumed gifts (perhaps helping dampen the animal pongs) and from this simple scene came a nativity story, shared by many millions of people ever since.
Ian Morrison, Mount Eliza
Coalition of debt
It was great to see the double page spread devoted to Liberals Flinders MP Zoe McKenzie and Nepean MP Sam Groth complaining about funding cuts to infrastructure programs (Reverse freeway budget cuts – MP and ‘Blatant’ disregard for peninsula, The News 28/11/23). Presumably, we will soon see a double page spread given to local Labor MPs and candidates? These two MPs should realise that the funding cuts were made to reduce some of the nearly $1trillion debt left by the previous coalition government, you know, the “debt and deficit party”.
What have we got to see for that debt? The Jetty Road, Rosebud overpass? No. The electrification of the Baxter line? No.
In fact, Australia has little to show for the mountainous debt accrued by the self-declared party of money managers.
Now, Ms McKenzie and Mr Groth would like us to believe that projects such as these can be easily achieved because their party had “promised” funds for their completion. It is a pity then that this money didn’t get spent during the near decade in power that the coalition had.
It is just so easy to govern from the Opposition benches, isn’t it Sam and Zoe?
Dr Ross Hudson, Mount Martha
No more debt
Just as I was writing this letter to pat myself on the back for the letters to The News and the state and federal governments on the Jetty Road, Rosebud roundabout and saving $74 million by fixing the problem for $1m, Flinders MP Zoe McKenzie helped me out in her newsletter and recently delivered, at my expense: “Government has ripped out over $300 million and cancelled the Jetty Road overpass”.
Yes it would be nice to have all of these projects and more, and maybe even some social welfare programs not blocked by the federal opposition. Unfortunately, no one wants to pay for them as can be demonstrated by the coalition’s stage 3 tax cuts.
We cannot continue to drive Australia into even more debt. The Commonwealth will pay just under $18 billion in interest on almost $1 trillion of debt (note I did not point my finger at the coalition). Australia’s total interest bill is then expected to climb above $20 billion in 2024-25 and reach $26 billion in 2026-27.
I am guessing that Zoe thinks that $313b of tax cuts with the benefits flowing disproportionately to high income earners and men should be offset with $313b worth of pre-election pork car parks and another trillion dollars of debt.
Still patting myself on the back for my efforts in getting a cost effective solution to the pedestrian crosswalk at Jetty Road roundabout and preventing another bottleneck at the Boneo Road roundabout.
It is only a problem six weekends a year when the tourists invade.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
Cliff path is an asset not a liability
After the dramatic landslips closed the Beleura cliff path, Mornington, in late 2022, we met with Mornington Peninsula Shire expecting to hear about a search for the causes of the slips, unravelling the drains problem, and plans to get the job started. But the shire said the cost was too high; the state government had to fork out.
Before anything could actually be done, a geo-technical review of the path was needed to bring the state government on board. This was to be the start line.
Our long-held view was that drain failures were the main cause of all previous landslips, and 2022 was no exception. The main game was to fix the drains. You can’t change the geo-tech structure of the cliff, but you can change the drains. We lost that argument.
But here’s another problem. The Stantec Geo-tech Report still isn’t ready for release. This is 12 months after the landslips. We hope to get it a couple of days of days before the public meeting we have organised for Monday 11 December, 5 pm at the Mornington Yacht Club.
The reason for the meeting is to let people know how serious the delays are in tackling the real issues of the path. And secondly, to help the shire understand the strong feelings people have about the future of this path.
The shire sees the Beleura cliff path as a liability. We see it as an asset.
We are only at the start line.
Peter Nicholson, Save Our Cliff Path, Mornington
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