Author: Liz Bell

THOUSANDS of elderly Mornington Peninsula residents caught in the middle of the former Morrison Government’s decision to move home care servicing to private providers have been left without vital support. While the move to private providers is a result of recommendations outlined in the Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report, critics say its implementation without clear advice, time frames or options has left some recipients fearful and without any service at all. On the eve of the 1 July transition to private providers, many of the estimated 4000 home care recipients were still confused about what was happening and had…

AT just 17, in the middle of her VCE exams, Rosebud resident Deanna Renee was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Suddenly her whole world looked vastly different. “I literally woke up one day and could barely see, my vision loss was so bad it was just like looking through a tiny black dot” she said. Renee’s ophthalmologist diagnosed Optic Neuritis, which was a red flag for Multiple Sclerosis, and after an MRI discovered lesions on her brain, the diagnosis was confirmed. It would have been very easy to give up dreaming about the future, but Renee refused to give in to…

THE peninsula group of brigades has received a new addition to the fleet and named in honour of a former group communications officer. The new $85,000 Ford Ranger 4X4 was purchased via the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program and replaced a seven-year-old model the group previously used. Peninsula group contributed an additional $29,000, supplementing the VESEP grant. Group officer Tim Desmond said the benefit of the new FCV was the improved layout and enhanced safety features. “The new standard build enables members to go between different vehicles quickly, as they all have a similar set up now,” he said. “The…

MORNINGTON Peninsula resident and co-founder of a wrap that is compostable and eco-friendly, Julia Kay, has been named Young Victorian of the Year by the Victoria Day Council. From a young age Kay, a former architect, had a knack for design, and wanted to have an impact on the environment. That led her to a career in architecture, which in turn has taken her around the world and led to her designing everything from galleries to schools. Kay said working in the construction industry was a real “eye opener” for her as she saw copious amounts of waste with no…

AN emergency service worker is reaching out to first responders and veterans who have experienced trauma, offering a free, ocean-based program for “post traumatic growth”. Operation Soul Surf is the brainchild of Sergeant Barry Randall, who is based at Forest Hill police station, but has brought the program to the Mornington Peninsula. Randall said the program provides opportunities to people who have suffered trauma to experience the healing power of surfing and the ocean. “I founded OSS in 2021 and have put 50 current and former first responders and veterans through our program,” he said. “I have booked out courses…

FISHERMANS Jetty in Mornington Harbour is in for a major safety revamp as part of $18 million allocated to piers and jetties across Victoria. The jetty is now closed to boats after an engineering inspection found it was not safe as a safe access for berthing. More than $6.7 million has been allocated from the 2022-23 state budget to plan the future of Mornington Harbour and rebuild the jetty. Jo Richards, Parks Victoria’s regional director southern and maritime region, said planning for the future of the harbour was anticipated to begin late-2022 and will consider the area’s future economic, tourism,…

CONSTRUCTION has begun on one of Australia’s first shared-roof intergenerational care centres that will provide life-changing interactions between Mornington aged care residents and children. Early childhood teachers Anna and Fiona Glumac say the concept of mixing older people with younger ones was inspired largely by their late grandmother Mary, who spent the last year of her life in residential aged care. In 2017, the Glumac sisters were so moved by a documentary on an intergenerational care centre in the US city of Seattle, they decided to bring the same model of care to Australia. They created The Herd, a name…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire will ask the new state Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn to appoint a panel to consider submissions on Amendment C270morn, which aims to protect the peninsula’s green wedge from inappropriate development. The amendment would affect 10 sites and allow for the rezoning of land located outside of the urban growth boundary and correct anomalies in the shire’s planning Scheme. The current zoning of the sites is considered “legacy” zoning that applied before green wedge zones were introduced more than 40 years ago and regulated in 2004. The C270morn amendment was publicly exhibited for six weeks in February and…

RUBBISH dumping and littering is becoming a major problem on the Mornington Peninsula, with residents, businesses and holiday makers continuing to use the beaches, roadsides and open spaces to unload their waste. The Environment Protection Authority is encouraging the reporting of vehicles seen littering by phoning 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842), and also to report illegally dumped industrial waste, which spokesman John Rees says tends to happen in isolated areas, such as reserves. “Reporting littering helps us prevent pollution in Victoria,” he said. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is also grappling with increasing amounts of litter on streets, roadways and…

A RETAIL and services development in the northern end of Mount Eliza is a clear sign that economic buoyancy is returning, despite residual staffing difficulties. Eight new retail and service businesses – including Manyung Gallery – have taken up residence in the development at 54 Mount Eliza Way, with negotiations underway for the ninth and final business to move in. One of the spokespeople for the three families connected with the development, businesswomen and former Frankston councillor Chris Richards, said Mount Eliza had largely avoided the COVID-related downturn of some areas and was ready for new businesses. “We absolutely have…

DRIVERS whose vehicles have been damaged by potholes in Mornington Peninsula roads could be out of luck when it comes to claiming compensation for minor damage. Several callers to The News have complained of car damage after driving over a pothole outside 220 Eramosa Road West. Some are hoping for compensation, but Mornington Peninsula Shire Council guidelines are clear. Infrastructure services manager Tom Haines-Sutherland said potholes occur more frequently in the wetter months and were caused by water getting into the road surface due to a crack or a small hole. Traffic driving over the fault caused a pothole to…

DESPI O’Connor will donate the $12,164 she was paid by Mornington Peninsula Shire while contesting last month’s federal election to community organisations. O’Connor, one of 10 candidates for seat of Flinders won by Liberal Zoe McKenzie, was granted absence of leave from 15 December until after the 26 May election (“Former mayor makes a run for Flinders” The News 13/12/21). Admitting to feeling “not comfortable” being paid her councillor’s allowance while on leave from council duties, O’Connor said the money would be used to combat homelessness and mental health on the peninsula. O’Connor had also been on leave from her…

CURLY-haired Somerville resident Emily Cullen has always been complimented on her luscious, strawberry-gold locks. But the peninsula shearer didn’t bat an eye when deciding to cut a good portion of it off to help people who have lost their hair to cancer. After hatching the plan to sell her hair to a wig-making company, Emily put the call out on social media to see if anyone wanted to join her, and before she knew it old school friend Natalie Trotter answered the call. It had been a decade since the former Frankston High School chums had last met, but the…

MORE than 700 signatures are on a petition protesting at Mornington Peninsula Shire’s plan for social housing to be built on a reserve at Capel Sound. Residents say they are not against affordable housing but insist that developing the 10,000 square metre site at 11a Allambi Road will deprive existing residents of the only open space left in the area. The shire says half of the land will be retained as a park and has accused protesters of circulating “misleading” flyers. Richard Brown said residents wanted council to hear their voices and acknowledge the findings of the Dropping Off the…

MORNINGTON Yacht Club member and Sailability volunteer Krista Bailey has been given the Shine on Award from Mornington Rotary Club. Bailey, a keen sailor, contracted a form of dystrophy in her teens but did not let that stop living her best life, and she went on to raise three children. Her condition has deteriorated, and she now needs a wheelchair, but even that hasn’t dampened her zest for life. Bailey started learning to sail in 2004 and became proficient enough to compete at state and national levels and be part of the winning teams. She now helps others to sail…

THE opening of 75-tonne travelling lift crane at Yaringa Boat Harbour, Somerville, is expected to boost boat building and servicing opportunities. The mobile crane will enable businesses at the marina to store and service larger boats. The lift was launched on 16 June by Mornington Peninsula mayor Anthony Marsh (below). Mal Hart, director and owner of Hart Marine Boat Builders, formerly headquartered in Mornington, said the upgraded boat harbour will boost the marine industry in Somerville, the local economy and marine-related job market. Hart Marine specialise in building pilot boats, patrol and SAR vessels built to the self-righting ORC design…

FOR 29-year-old, Rye mother-of-two Mariah Kendle, the option of being able to study nursing and give her family a brighter future seemed out of reach until she heard about the options for study available through TAFE. After completing a course in individual support and being named trainee student of the year, from Chisholm TAFE, she is now well on her way to a nursing degree. Kendle, whose determination to succeed made her stand out from the crowd at the Rosebud campus where she studied, credits staff for motivating her to complete her studies and define her goals. “Studying a course…

MORE than 1000 beach box owners on the Mornington Peninsula are facing a 4.6 to 4.8 per cent rate rise as their beachside assets have increased in value. The highly sought after beach amenities are not included in the state government’s 1.75 per cent cap that applies to privately-owned property throughout the shire. There are more than 1200 boat sheds and bathing boxes on the peninsula, most of which are simple, free-standing storage sheds used by individuals and families to store beach equipment, boats and a place to get changed. Owners pay an annual licence fee – partly based on…

A SHELTER belt and biolink for the Mornington Peninsula’s koala population was created over the weekend with the planting of 900 trees. Despite blisteringly cold conditions, volunteers booted up and headed to Newlyn farm, Merricks, where they spent several hours digging, planting, staking and protecting the trees – a range of manna gums and other natives once common in the area. “We try to work out what was originally there, and we plant a mix,” founder of the Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation group, Dirk Jansen, said. Jansen has worked tirelessly building relationships with volunteers and government and non-government groups to…

WEDNESDAY 8 June was deadline day for objectors to lodge a statement of grounds to the proposed aged care development of the former Moondah Estate in Mount Eliza. Aged care and retirement living developer Ryman Healthcare bought the 8.9-hectare site, complete with Moondah mansion, from Melbourne University in 2016 for close to $40 million. For 59 years the site was allowed to operate as an education centre under a special use zoning which separated it from the green wedge. The waterfront property has been left largely untouched since the previous owners moved out more than five years ago and sits…

ELEVEN-year-old Grace Larkins, of Rosebud, has been chosen as a vice-captain in the Victorian Country Basketball team to compete in next month’s under-16 national championships in Perth. Larkins, above, has been a massive fan of the sport since she picked up her first basketball at age three. “I’ve always love it, I’ve just loved the pace and the team interaction,” she said. Larkins’ father Phil said his daughter had a natural ability taking to the sport like a duck to water, and has gone from strength to strength, playing regularly with her Peninsula Grammar team and training with a team…

RYE skateboarder Lilly Sherriff in three years has achieved a level of fan that many merely aspire to. At 11, she is already a wizard in the bowl, a long way from the eight-year-old whose first board was picked up at a garage sale. It didn’t take long for Lilly to demonstrate a natural ability on the board, gliding the concrete ramps like they were rivers of water and flying high on the momentum. Friends and family were impressed, and pretty soon her reputation grew around the state, and then the country. Who was this tiny girl skateboarder appearing mid-air…

A GRASS-roots approach to community decarbonisation was launched in Mount Martha Sunday (22 May) with residents forming a group focussed on reducing local emissions. A public meeting attended by about 40 residents and headed by eMPower Mornington Peninsula, a non-profit energy network focussed on helping communities decarbonise the peninsula, heard that local initiatives could reduce carbon emissions by 70 per cent over the next seven years. Group member Jon Fly said there was a lot of interest from the Mount Martha community in taking a proactive approach to reducing emissions. He said eMPower representatives shared strategies for households, businesses and…

THOUSANDS of Mornington Peninsula households are expected to face a crippling rise in electricity prices after the Essential Services Commission announced new Victorian default offer prices from 1 July to 30 June 2023. Average annual bills for households and small businesses on the default (standing) electricity market offer will increase by an average of around five per cent. Vinnies spokesman Gavan Dufty said areas on the outskirts of Melbourne, including the peninsula, would be hit hardest when it came to cost of living rises, because areas with poor public transport already faced paying more than $2 a litre for petrol.…

LEANE Maddren of Panorama Theatre Company wants to provide theatre experiences for young people and entertain the community. But that opportunity could be lost unless the non-profit company can find another suitable storage shed to house props, settings and costumes they use for their productions. Maddren said the company had been using the storage area next to the Hastings SES building but was recently notified by Mornington Peninsula Shire that the arrangement can no longer continue. “There is such shortage of suitable places in the shire, so we so far have had no luck finding somewhere to go,” she said.…

LANDSCAPER Jay Shelling believes that every young person deserves a chance and a job, no matter what their life story has been. Shelling has started a not-for-profit outreach service for young people called Street Peace, with the aim of guiding disenfranchised young people into lives of purpose and hope. That path may seem out of reach for many disconnected and at-risk youth, but Shelling makes the goal of a roof over their heads and a job achievable through employing young people in his landscaping business on the Mornington Peninsula and in Frankston. Shelling said it was one way he could…

CAPEL Sounds residents opposing an affordable housing plan for land adjoining the Seawinds Community Hub have accused the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council of breaking a commitment to keep the land as open space. Resident Richard Brown said he believes the shire has “no firm intention” of retaining half of the land for open space, as it claims, and is “only verbalising this to pacify the local residents and fool them into acquiescence”. The shire has accused resident groups of distributing “misleading” flyers that the entire 22,700 square metre block would be developed (“Affordable housing flyer ‘misleading’” The News 24/5/22). The…

EVER since he could walk it was pretty clear to his family that active Somerville youngster Aiden Hinson was going to be an athlete. Their assumptions were right, and the almost 19-year-old has spent his formative years fine tuning his athletic skills in a range of track and field sports and football and competed in jumps at state and interstate level. He and training partner Blake Shaw are set for the experience of a lifetime and will head to Cali, Colombia in August for the World Athletics U20 Championships. Hinson, a triple jumper, qualified last year, but Athletics Australia –…

GOLFERS have been staggered by a proposed fee hike by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council that could see membership costs almost double at Mount Martha Golf Course. Mount Martha resident Edwin Gill wants the council to justify the hike and says the new price could force a drop in the number of players of the game. At the 3 May council meeting, Gill asked if council had “fully considered the devastating impact Mount Martha Golf Course fee increases will have on that community activity”. “Up 92 per cent, for those who can least afford it,” he said. “It is inconsistent with…

A $20 million price tag appears to have dashed hopes that Mornington Peninsula Shire Council could buy a 2.8-hectare former water reservoir in Mount Eliza for community use. The shire’s acting corporate strategy and business improvement director Nathan Kearsley said a decision had been made to not buy the property at 57 Kunyung Road. “We understand the state government is seeking more than $20 million for this land parcel and there are no existing council policies or strategies that would support its acquisition,” he said. “We understand there are many in the community who want to retain the site as…