Author: Keith Platt

The Victorian Trades Hall Council has announced it will specifically target Flinders MP Greg Hunt in the May federal election. Phone callers and door knockers will play on Mr Hunt’s role in the overthrow last year of then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that led to Scott Morrison taking over leadership of the Liberal National government. Health Minister Mr Hunt sought to be deputy leader in the failed leadership bid by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. The union umbrella group THC will also target Mr Hunt’s Liberal colleague, Chris Crewther in neighbouring Dunkley. The involvement of Trades Hall comes weeks after…

Gas delivery: An artist’s impression of the floating gas processing terminal and a tanker used to carry liquified natural gas from overseas to Crib Point. The Save Westernport group has succeeded in getting most candidates for Flinders in the coming federal election to align themselves against plans for a floating gas terminal at Crib Point. Independent Julia Banks – elected as a Liberal to the seat of Chisholm at the 2016 federal election – says she will table a petition next “to stop this development and to protect the Western Port (Crib Point) site”. In a news release, Ms Banks…

Flinders MP Greg Hunt at The bay Hospital, Mornington to announce a $12.6 million budget allocation for a new cancer centre and to redevelop the Alexandra park pavilion for health and wellness services. Picture: Cameron McCullough Cancer patients could be treated in Mornington within two years. The federal government has allocated $10 million in this week’s budget for a cancer treatment centre to be built at The Bays Hospital. The hospital’s CEO Elena Allen on Friday was “fully optimistic” the new centre could up and running in 18 months to two years if the hospital could raise another $10 million.…

The popularity of The Pillars, a cliff jumping spot at Mt Martha, has led to the banning of alcohol, restricted car parking, dire warnings of death or injury and “the wall” – a fence to try and stop entry. Mornington Peninsula Shire, which has used its officers to book errant motorists and drones to count the number of people on the cliffs as well as paying for the hire of the fence, has called a public meeting for Wednesday 10 April to discuss a “permanent solution” to the problematic tourist attraction. The Pillars has also become a political issue with…

Recycled material collected by Mornington Peninsula Shire is set to resume being “processed” instead of being taken to landfill. Bans on the shire’s recycling processor SKM were lifted late last month and infrastructure services executive manager Jessica Wingad was late last week hoping to have “an update and timeframe for when our recycling will start to be processed again in the coming days”. “Once our recycling processing resumes, the shire will be able to confirm the total quantity of recyclable material sent to landfill as a result of the shutdown,” she said. The recycling processor was unable to take waste…

WHILE sometimes it doesn’t always appear to be a place for a leisurely swim, Safetry Beach is in the top 10 beaches on Port Phillip for having good quality water over the past summer. Five of the Mornington Peninsula’s Port Phillip beaches are ranked in the top 10 for water quality by Environment Protection Authority Victoria. Top of the 36-beach list for having the best water quality over summer was Santa Casa, followed closely by Easter, The Dell and Portarlington – all beaches on the Bellarine peninsula. Portsea and Rosebud came in at equal five, up from eight the previous…

There is never a shortage of willing hands to help surfers sitting, lying or trying to stand on surfboards at events organised by the Disabled Surfers Association Mornington Peninsula branch. Hundreds of blue and yellow rash vests were the most eye-catching fashion item for the second time in two months at Point Leo beach on Saturday 16 March. Hundreds of blue and yellow vests were visible along the beach as the Disabled Surfers Association Mornington Peninsula organisation ran a surf day. Groups of people wearing blue vests – supervised by a lesser number of people wearing green or red vests…

Independent candidate for Flinders Susie Beveridge says she has been “working away in the background” to bring the Otama submarine ashore. Picture: Supplied A FIFTH candidate has now entered the race to win the seat of Flinders at the May federal election. Susie Beveridge, a former Mornington Peninsula Shire councillor, announced last week that she would stand as an independent for the seat held for the Liberals by Greg Hunt since 2001. As well as Mr Hunt, Ms Beveridge will be opposing former Liberal Julia Banks (currently MP for Chisholm) who is also standing as an independent, Labor’s Joshua Sinclair…

IT was standing room only at the launch of GetUp!’s campaign targeting Liberal Greg Hunt in the federal seat of Flinders in this year’s May election. Picture: Supplied The left-wing lobby group GetUp! Has selected Flinders Liberal MP Greg Hunt as one of its main “targets” in the May federal election. The group says Mr Hunt’s “repeated attempts to block urgent action on climate change puts him at complete odds with voters in Flinders and it’s time he was turfed out”. Mr Hunt told The News that GetUp! had “only ever campaigned against Liberal members of Parliament and it uses…

Fluid alliance: Calling on politicians to make better use of treated wastewater being pumped into the sea near Gunnamatta are, from left, Main Ridge avocado grower Steve Marshall, Russell Joseph, Chris Brayne and David Gill. Picture: Supplied Politicians are being asked to forget their differences and adopt a bipartisan approach to provide the Mornington Peninsula’s “hinterland” with secure water supplies for agriculture and fire fighting. The authors of the Hinterland Environmental Water Scheme (HEWS), Steve Marshall and Russell Joseph, say political posturing should be replaced with election promises to finance feasibility studies and design of a system to use treated…

Back to the nursery: Charlie Micallef about to release a female gummy shark off Sorrento. The charter fishing boat operator says gummy sharks can be safely returned to the water even after time is taken for them to be photographed. Picture: Supplied Fishing charter boat operator Charlie Micallef, who knows a thing or two about catching gummy sharks, believes their numbers are dropping in Port Phillip. The Victorian Fisheries Authority oversees regulations that set bag limits at two sharks (minimum 48 centimetres long) a person for recreational anglers and total commercial operations at 1700 tonnes a year. The authority rates…

Picture: Yanni Murray Mandel has taken his talents to the road in a bid to raise money for Lifeline. The 65-year-old classical guitarist is two years into a three-year journey on behalf of the national 24-hour crisis support phone service. Lifeline volunteers provide suicide prevention services, mental health support and emotional assistance, either by phone, face-to-face and online. Mendel, pictured, who lives in Sydney, began his travelling troubadour lifestyle from Canberra in March 2016 with hopes of being back there by 9 March 2020. He has a 75-song repertoire of classical pieces, some of which he’ll be playing at Bentons…

Mornington Peninsula Shire is lining up to congratulate a Dromana supermarket for winning several in-house industry awards. Ritchies Supa IGA Dromana was last month named IGA International Retailer of the Year. The award was presented to CEO Fred Harrison and Jarrod Swaine at the international IGA conference in San Diego, US. Not to be outdone by the hype, shire councillors are arranging some publicity around the store’s awards. In a flurry of emails between councillors, the mayor Cr David Gill said he supported “the idea of official shire recognition for IGA”. “Great news indeed for Ritchies Supa IGA Dromana to…

Labor candidate Joshua Sinclair The battle for the seat of Flinders in the May federal election became a three-cornered contest on Friday with Labor announcing Josh Sinclair as its candidate. Mr Sinclair was campaign manager for Chris Brayne, who won the seat of Nepean in last year’s (24 November) state election. He was later appointed as Mr Brayne’s office manager. Mr Sinclair’s official endorsement by Labor follows reports last month that Tracee Hutchison would be the party’s candidate. However, Ms Hutchison, a broadcaster and journalist, later said she would not be a candidate despite giving it serious consideration and being…

Three holes have been drilled above Mt Martha Beach North to help monitor movement within the cliffs. A tube inserted into the borehole will allow the Department of Environment Lands Water and Planning to measure movement in the cliffs, which have crumbled in several places over the past few years. Rocks were placed at the bottom of the cliffs later last year in a bid to prevent further erosion by the sea. DELWP Port Phillip Program Manager Land and Built Environment John Downs said the cliff top bores were “part of the ongoing works at Mt Martha to monitor and…

OBITUARY Michael Owen Parkinson, 1954-2019Surfer Michael Parkinson tucks in at Avoca Beach, near Sydney in the early 1970s. Picture: Keith Platt Eat your chips first; no one’s going to take your flake. Sounds like good advice, but did it come from personal experience or have a deeper philosophical meaning? Maybe it was just something passed down as part of the Parkinson family law. The short sentence about advice given to a friend by Michael “Mick” Parkinson was just one of many entries in a memorial book left on a table of empty glasses at Sorrento back beach on Thursday 7…

Sara Hickson, above, points her way to a win in the under-14 girls state junior surfing titles at Gunnamatta, while Sarsha Pancic, below, sets a record single wave score. THREE young Mornington Peninsula surfers have signalled they are contenders for state-level recognition following the first round of the Victorian State Junior Surfing Titles at Gunnamatta. While mainly west coast surfers dominated during the two-day contest (16, 17 February), brother and sister Sara and Lucas Hickson and Sarsha Pancic showed the peninsula’s young surfers are a growing force. Sara Hickson, of Rye, won the under-14 girls division. Her brother Lucas came…

In form: Calum Nicolson and Hannah Trigger at Gunnamatta showing the standard of surfing that saw them take out their respective Peninsula Surfriders’ Club titles last year. Pictures: Supplied Peninsula Surfriders’ Club begins its 2019 season this weekend with a contest site to be determined depending on the surf. Since being formed in 1974, the club has won state team events and seen its members in national teams. “With ties to the inception of the surf industry, PSC has been an integral link in the Victorian surf landscape for more than 40 years,” club president Lachy McDonald said. The 140-member…

Pictures: Keith Platt It may have been the calamari for breakfast or just the chance to nab a spot in the sun near the water’s edge. Whatever the impulse to come ashore, the New Zealand fur seal lying on the beach at Dromana quickly began to draw a crowd. Some sat on the seawall to get a view of the seal, which obligingly lolled about, waving its flippers in the air. But it was the woman out for a swim that caused the most concern for volunteer seal monitor James Clemens. Not content with swimming past, the woman came ashore…

THE Labor party is yet to name its candidate for Flinders in the May federal election. Last week news broke that Tracee Hutchison would contest the seat held by Liberal Greg Hunt since 2001. But this week the Rosebud born broadcaster and journalist said she would not be a candidate. “There’s been much speculation over this past week about my reported foray into federal politics, unfortunately none of it has come from me and the story in your article [“Hunt under pressure of coup fallout” 5/2/19] about me being the Labor candidate is incorrect,” Ms Hutchison told The News. The…

All aboard: Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor David Gill, left, and Cr Julie Morris were among the passengers out for a twilight cruise on Western Port to mark World Wetlands Day. Pictures: Supplied Cruising while eating canapes and drinking while spotting waders was all part of a twilight cruise on Western Port last Friday to “celebrate” the following day’s World Wetlands Day (Saturday 2 February). The 90 or so paying passengers aboard the Kasey Lee were also kept mindful of the efforts by the Save Westernport group to stop power company AGL processing imported natural gas at Crib Point and plans…

On location: Peter Woods painting undisturbed at the St Paul hospital, Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. Picture: Supplied Artists, especially when spotted at their easels in the open air, can be seen as adding a bit of interest to the landscape. But that feeling is not universal, Bittern artist Peter Woods has found out, especially in the home of what many regard as “must make” destination for artists – southern France. While working at his easel outside the picturescue village of Lourmarin, Woods was confronted by a woman who drove up in a car and “started to talk vigorously and gesticulate”. It was…

Julia Banks JULIA Banks finally broke cover on Thursday last week with an “announcement” that had been rumoured for weeks: she will stand as an independent candidate for Flinders at the May federal election. In doing so, Ms Banks will campaign against her former Liberal colleague, Greg Hunt, who has held the seat since 2001. Adding fuel to the Flinders electoral ire, it was leaked Friday afternoon that Labor’s candidate would be broadcaster and head of journalism at the Australian College of the Arts, Tracee Hutchison. Labor sources would not confirm her candidature, but said the party’s administrative committee would…

POWER company AGL’s corporate logo is increasingly being attached to a growing number of community activities on the Mornington Peninsula. As well as sponsoring the Hastings Gift foot race in November, the company has bought the naming rights to the Peninsula Film Festival (at Rosebud on Saturday, 2 February) and the following day’s Musiqua Festival on Hastings foreshore. The Mornington Peninsula News Group, publisher of this newspaper, is also a major sponsor of the film festival. AGL says it is “common” for it to be approached for support by groups “when we start operating in a community”. AGL spokesperson Mike…

While Mornington Peninsula Shire is looking at its management plans for the entire Mt Martha coastline, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has honed in on the major trouble spot of Mt Martha Beach North. In the past few years loss of sand, unstable cliffs and erosion have led to the beach being closed and beach boxes demolished. With rocks in been place at the base of the cliff to stop further erosion, the department is “investigating potential options for maintaining sand and cliff stability” (“Beach repairs could cost $4m” The News 30/10/17). Previous attempts to rebuild…

A DRAFT plan with the ultimate aim of “enhancing and protecting the Mt Martha coastline” has been released for public discussion. Recommendations in the plan include producing brochures so coastal property owners “understand the benefits to the foreshore reserve in the removal of environmental weeds from their properties”. The necessity for this education campaign becomes clearer when reading parts of the report which call for the closure of “ad hoc goat” tracks behind beach boxes and an end to “vegetation vandalism” to create bay views. Other recommendations in the draft plan are aimed at combating erosion as well as introducing…

Changes have been made to the running of the Mornington Peninsula leg of this year’s Jayco Herald Sun cycling tour. Entrants scheduled to race a circuitous route from Cape Schanck to Arthurs Seat last week faced an unexpected barrier when businesses complained about roads being closed. It is the second time this month that Mornington Peninsula Shire has come under fire for backing events that require roads to be closed. With less than a fortnight to go before the event, organisers of the Herald Sun tour last Wednesday readily agreed to reduce the time roads would be closed. However, a…

A new boardwalk, ramp onto the beach and special polyester matting made it easy to get wheelchairs onto the sand at Point Leo on Saturday. It was the first surf event for 2019 held by the Disabled Surfers’ Association Mornington Peninsula branch and the upgraded beach access saw 99 surfers enjoying time in the water with the help of a record 300 volunteers. DSAMP president John Bowers described the turnout of surfers and volunteers as “fantastic”. “Everything that that happened was just so good. The boardwalk enabled regular wheelchairs to be taken onto the beach, whereas before people could only…

Pictures: Don Juniper and Gary Wisniewski SUNDAY may not have been the summer’s best beach day, but that did not deter hundreds of people going to the Pines Beach, Shoreham. Instead of sunning themselves, swimming or going for a surf, the beachgoers were intent on sending the state and federal governments a message: don’t allow power company AGL to moor a floating gas import and processing terminal at Crib Point. Serious concerns about the health and safety aspects of the proposed terminal underlined the festive atmosphere on the beach where protesters were fed information about the 300-metre long “gas factory”…

Playtime: A pair of juvenile peregrine falcons test their flight capabilities over Mt Eliza Regional Park. Picture: Gary Sissons WATER can be the key ingredient to helping wildlife survive in backyard gardens during summer. “Often people have the belief that when it comes to wildlife it’s an us or them situation but, with some small considerations, we can all happily live together,” Paula Rivera said. Ms Rivera, of Langwarrin and her friend Janet Wheeler, Frankston South, give talks and promote good relations between humans, animals and birds under the name, Living With Wildlife. “You can prevent wildlife ‘dying for a…