Author: Mike Hast

HASTINGS author and artist Fran Henke has a chapter in the new Australian anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia. The 320-page paperback has been published by Melbourne publisher Morry Schwartz’s Black Inc and is the fifth in a series of “Growing Up…” titles. Released in early February, it has already been reprinted after attracting wide-spread interest and praise including for its editor Carly Findlay OAM, a Melbourne writer and disability activist who has a rare genetic disorder that affects her skin and hair. Mrs Henke is an activist too – for polio survivors who in later life experience post-polio syndrome…

POLITICAL differences have been put aside and municipal transport priorities tempered in the quest to extend the railway beyond Frankston. A regional advisory committee will report to Infrastructure Australia that the key to solving inadequate public transport connectivity in the region hinges on building a double-track rail extension to Langwarrin at least, or potentially Baxter, with trains running every 15 minutes. Earlier this year, Infrastructure Australia (IA) listed “Frankston Public Transport Connectivity” as one of its six key “near-term” nation-building projects in Victoria. The national infrastructure body then tasked a local advisory committee to explore 23 ideas that would significantly…

OBITUARY Barry William Leslie Ross 30/1/1943-7/12/2019 Banker, surfer, conservationist BARRY Ross played a major role in the protection of green wedges in Melbourne’s southeast including Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula for almost two decades. He was a conservationist for more than 40 years. As long-time secretary of Defenders of the South East Green Wedge, part of the Green Wedges Coalition, Mr Ross was the bane of many a developer. Mr Ross, who died in his sleep on Saturday 7 December aged 76 after a long battle with oesophageal cancer, provided a sharp edge to the Defenders in the state’s planning…

Clifftop cottage: On the first floor balcony of Ramsay House, overlooking Port Phillip, in about 1970 are, from left, architecture students (and later architects) Tony Styant-Browne and Peter Jacobs with house owner Verena Romberg. Picture: John Gollings A SMALL holiday house perched on a cliff above Ranelagh Beach at Mt Eliza will be open to the public later this month for the first time in its 82-year history. Small it may be, but Ramsay House, built in 1937, is big in architecture, heritage and history circles. It is considered to be an influential example of the work of famous Melbourne…

Women in politics: Headline speakers at this month’s inaugural Louisa Dunkley Women in Politics Forum are, left, former Liberal now independent federal MP Julia Banks and Victorian Liberal Party deputy leader Cindy McLeish. The forum takes its name from gender equality campaigner, Louisa Dunkley, below. REBEL Liberal-turned-independent MP Julia Banks and Victorian Liberal Party deputy leader Cindy McLeish headline a forum at Langwarrin this month designed to encourage more women to enter politics. The inaugural Louisa Dunkley Women in Politics Forum – organised by the Committee for Greater Frankston – is a 12-2pm lunch on Thursday 28 March at McClelland…

A RE-ELECTED Andrews Labor government will spend $562 million to build an 11-storey tower at Frankston Hospital. The announcement was made at the hospital by Premier Daniel Andrews and state health minister Jill Hennessy on Monday morning. Building will start in 2020 with completion by 2024. The project will include 120 beds, two operating theatres, maternity ward, obstetrics ward, women’s clinic, children’s ward and special care nursery. Two floors will accommodate mental health services. An integrated cancer ward and day clinic will treat people who currently have to travel to Melbourne for treatment. Mr Andrews said the project would create…

OBITUARY John Houston Buzaglo OAM 11 July 1924 – 4 August 2018 Naval officer, advertising manager, boat-builder, international yachtsman, sailing instructor JOHN “Buz” Buzaglo was perhaps destined to co-create a radical racing yacht in the 1970s because as a child in the 1930s he built his own glider and model boats and later a land yacht that he crashed on a busy road in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Buzaglo, who has died at age 94, was co-founder of the syndicate that designed, built and raced the world’s first viable “wingsail” racing yacht – a C class catamaran that appeared to have…

THE federal government has promised $225 million to extend the metropolitan train line from Frankston to Baxter. The money is due to be announced in the federal Budget tonight, Tuesday 8 May by Treasurer Scott Morrison, part of $7.8 billion for new roads and rail lines in Victoria. Other projects include North East Link tollway between Greensborough and Bulleen, a rail line between Monash University’s Caulfield and Clayton campuses, the Airport Rail Link, duplication of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, and duplication of Princes Hwy between Traralgon and Sale. Electrification of the line between Frankston to…

FINDING a car park in Mt Eliza’s shopping centre is about to become more difficult with the loss of at least five per cent of the village’s 1017 parking spaces. The busy centre will lose 30 car parks after redevelopment of John Butler Reserve, and 15 spaces after expansion of Eliza Square shopping centre with its lead tenant Woolworths and liquor outlet BWS. The Committee for Greater Frankston – an independent group formed last year to advocate for a better deal in the region, including Mt Eliza – is calling on Mornington Peninsula Shire to increase not decrease the number…

STATE Opposition Leader Matthew Guy was in Frankston last week bearing gifts in the form of election promises ranging from extending train services to building bridges to ease traffic congestion and reviving expansion of the Port of Hastings. Mr Guy made an election pitch tailored to a Frankston audience when he addressed a Committee for Greater Frankston lunch at McClelland Gallery. (Premier Daniel Andrews will address the committee at a public event in May.) The Liberal leader said electrification of the rail line from Frankston to Langwarrin and on to Baxter was one of two major rail extension projects in…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire will compulsorily acquire a large section of Tootgarook Swamp to save it from housing development. About 30 hectares (70 acres) at 92 Elizabeth Av, Capel Sound (Rosebud West), will be acquired from property developers who wanted to build a retirement village of 80 units plus a 75-room hotel and a recreation centre. Earlier plans sought permission to build 99 units and 163 units. The land consists of 5.7 hectares zoned general residential, where the village was to be built; 21 hectares of “wetlands recreation area”; and 1.5 hectares split between a road reserve (VicRoads’ future freeway) and…

SIX large signs telling the history of heritage-listed Ranelagh Estate have been installed at Mt Eliza. Ranelagh was designed in 1924 by world-renowned American architects, planners and designers Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, who came to Australia to direct their winning international design for Australia’s new capital city Canberra. Ranelagh is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and classified by the National Trust. The signs, costing about $8500, were proposed in 2011. They were created by Mornington Peninsula Shire, Ranelagh Residents’ Association, and the Ranelagh Estate conservation advisory group, notably Meg Breidhal and Diane Dick, co-authors with Victoria…

THE Mornington Peninsula and Frankston’s first entrepreneurship and technology festival starts on Friday with a business breakfast and a three-day “hackathon”. The event is a joint venture between the technology business hub Frankston Foundry, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Frankston City Council and sponsors including the state government’s start-up investment body LaunchVic. Kate Gittings of LaunchVic said the region’s first hackathon, PeninsulaHACK, aimed to “build solutions for regional problems such as high youth unemployment and job availability”. The three-day hackathon, 6pm Friday to 6pm Sunday, will see about 150 entrepreneurs, businesses and community leaders from Frankston and the peninsula “discuss and explore…

A BAN on smoking in all commercial outdoor dining areas in Victoria came into effect last Tuesday, 1 August. The ban covers all restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops and licensed premises, including beer gardens, courtyards and footpath dining where food other than snacks is served. The ban applies to food fairs and organised outdoor events such as street and community festivals, school fetes, sporting events and craft markets with food stalls. People caught smoking in an outdoor dining area face a $159 fine, with a maximum court-ordered penalty of $793. Businesses face fines of $793, with a maximum court-ordered penalty of…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has a new Alcohol Management Policy, but it reads the same as the one adopted this time last year. Just three submissions from members of the public were received before the shire made its annual review of the alcohol policy. One submitter was unhappy about not being able to take a bottle of red wine to the beach for a barbecue without breaking a shire local law, one complained about cigarettes at licensed outlets, and one wanted footpaths improved. The wine drinker stated: “I would like us to act as a mature community – I do not…

ARTIST Vicki Sullivan’s entry in this year’s prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize is Professor Daniel O’Brien. It’s not a familiar name to most people but his work on the Bairnsdale ulcer is widely known, especially on the southern Mornington Peninsula, a hotspot for the skin disease. Professor O’Brien is an internationally known infectious diseases specialist focusing on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and Mycobacterium ulcerans, the Bairnsdale ulcer. He works at Geelong and Royal Melbourne hospitals, holds a teaching and research position at the University of Melbourne, and advises Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). Professor O’Brien, who lives in Geelong, conducts…

CONFUSION over which parts of the peninsula are subject to new rules allowing three-storey houses followed the first of three community meetings about state government planning changes. The shire has organised the meetings to explain the changes to residents. The first was held in Rosebud last Thursday night and was attended by an estimated 150-180 people. A second meeting, at Peninsula Community Theatre in Mornington, will be held tomorrow (6-8pm, Wednesday 26 July) with the third at Tyabb Community Hall at 6-8pm on Wednesday 2 August. The government’s changes will permit three-storey house of up to 11 metres high in…

POLIO support lobbyist Fran Henke of Hastings is the first to admit she has been “gently nagging” her local federal MP Greg Hunt for many years about the unmet needs of Australia’s polio survivors. When Mr Hunt was appointed federal Minister of Health in January (replacing Sussan Ley who resigned over a travel expenses scandal), Mrs Henke requested a meeting, and no doubt Mr Hunt knew what was coming. Last week he announced that a request to support Polio Australia’s Late Effects of Polio (LEoP) clinical practice workshop program had been successful. The federal government will fund the program for…

THREE flags were raised at the “hut by the sea” at Hastings to mark the start of NAIDOC Week. “Hut by the sea” is the English translation of the Boon Wurrung phrase Willum Warrain, the name of the Aboriginal community’s gathering place in Pound Rd, Hastings, that opened in 2014. NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and a week of events on the peninsula was started by raising the national flag, Australian Aboriginal flag, and the Torres Strait Islander flag. This year’s theme was “Our Languages Matter” to highlight the importance…

BUILDING a seawall at Portsea means the iconic beach will never return, says the man who successfully lobbied the state government to investigate massive erosion that started in 2009 and led to the loss of 400 metres of prime beach. Colin Watson, president of Nepean Ratepayers Association, said he was disappointed with the decision to replace the temporary sandbag wall with a rock seawall. “Our association has been negotiating with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for several years. I believed its intent was to fix this problem, but the seawall will not do the job,” he told…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire is enlisting peninsula community groups in its campaign to oppose state government planning changes. The changes include allowing developers to build three-storey houses up to 11 metres high in 10 towns – Capel Sound (formerly Rosebud West), Rosebud, Dromana, Mt Martha, Mornington, Baxter, Somerville, Tyabb, Hastings and Bittern. Developments can occur with no notifications or rights of appeal. Shire planning services manager David Bergin has emailed community groups stating: “The change to the General Residential Zone (GRZ) … presents a significant risk of inappropriate development on the peninsula. “To protect our townships from inappropriate development and the…

THE state Labor government’s planning department has no interest in protecting the Mornington Peninsula from overdevelopment, says RMIT planning specialist Professor Michael Buxton. Peninsula residents will have to fight hard to protect the shire from overdevelopment and will have to involve themselves in the future governance of the region as well as put electoral pressure on the government, he told a meeting of more than 300 residents at Hastings last Thursday night. The meeting had been called to explain recent changes in state government planning laws that will allow developers to build three-storey houses up to 11 metres high in…

PRESSURE is mounting on the state government over planning changes that will permit three-storey houses up to 11 metres high in 10 towns on the Mornington Peninsula. The 10 towns “eligible” for three-storey houses are Capel Sound (formerly Rosebud West), Rosebud, Dromana, parts of Mt Martha, Mornington, Baxter, Somerville, Tyabb, Hastings and Bittern. A meeting to explain the changes will be held at Hastings on Thursday (22 June) night with leading Melbourne planning specialist Professor Michael Buxton as guest speaker. Professor Buxton of RMIT University spent 12 years in senior management with Victorian government planning and environment agencies in the…

A WOMAN who competed in the 1956 Olympic Games as a teenager was among Mornington Peninsula people awarded an OAM on the Queen’s Birthday. Marg McLean of Mornington was given the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to masters sport and the community. Ms McLean was a champion at shot put, discus and javelin, and competed in shot put at the Olympics at age 17 under the name Margaret Woodlock where she finished 12th. She was Australian shot put champion for six years between 1957 and 1962, and Victorian champion in shot put and javelin between 1956 and…

ROSS Woodward remembers the first record he bought as an 11-year-old in 1974 – Abba’s first UK hit single Waterloo. He bought the band’s second UK hit, too – Mamma Mia, which topped the charts in early 1976. Another early buy was Slade Alive just to show the pre-teen was also into raucous sounds. For the British boy these early purchases were the start of a magnificent obsession with popular music that has lead to a massive collection of vinyl records, then CDs and now back to vinyl again – and a show on the peninsula’s radio station RPP-FM on…

STATE road authority VicRoads wants to charge Mornington Peninsula Shire annual rent of almost $22,000 for an unmade car park used by people dropping off and picking up children from schools in Mt Eliza. The rent claim was described by Mornington MP David Morris as “nonsense” after he called on Roads Minister Luke Donnellan to direct VicRoads to charge a much smaller amount for the land. “What VicRoads is asking for is unfair and unsustainable,” Mr Morris said. The car park is on the road reserve at the south corner of Nepean Hwy and Canadian Bay Rd. It has been…

PENINSULA Lions clubs are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lions Clubs International, and the 70th anniversary of the organisation in Australia. The first Lions club met in Chicago in the United States on 7 June 1917. Lions Clubs International now has about 46,000 clubs and 1.4 million members worldwide. American founder and businessman Melvin Jones believed people who were successful in business possessed the tenacity, drive and determination to do good work in the wider community. The first club in Australia was founded by William Tresise at Lismore in NSW in September 1947. Australia was the 18th country to join…

COUNCILLORS formally approved Mornington Peninsula Shire’s 2017-18 budget last Tuesday including a two per cent rate increase. It is the second year of the state government’s rate capping system. The waste service charge was increased by 2.1 per cent to $197. It is not subject to the rate cap. Last year’s rates were capped at 2.5 per cent. The capital works budget for 2017-18 is $37.5 million, with unequal spending between the shire’s six wars. The mayor Cr Bev Colomb said “highlights included: $3.7 million for roadside vegetation management. $3.2 million for continued implementation of drainage strategy and works program.…

OBITUARY Brian David Cuming OAM, 10 January 1928–23 May 2017, scientist, environmental activist SCIENTIST Brian Cuming played a major role in the protection of Western Port for more than 40 years. Dr Cuming, who died on 23 May at age 89, joined the Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council in 1978. WPPC was the peninsula’s first environmental lobby group, founded in 1971 to oppose further industrialisation of Western Port. Plans included a nuclear reactor and dry dock on French Island and heavy industry stretching from Hastings to Stony Point. Liberal Premier Henry Bolte wanted Western Port to be the “Ruhr of…

MORNINGTON Tennis Club’s long-time life member Sylvia Pingiaro has written a history of the club, which turned 125 in April. Mrs Pingiaro started collecting newspaper clippings about the club soon after she joined it in 1943 as a teenager, little knowing she would one day write a book. The first-time author started playing tennis when she attended Frankston High School, and joined Mornington’s club soon after, playing on asphalt courts built in 1891 on the corner of Queen and Vancouver streets where the library now stands. The book had its genesis in early 2006 when the idea lobbed at a…