Author: Stephen Taylor

MOTHER’S Day is not supposed to be disappointing, but that’s how Carmel Cuthbertson of Hastings felt when she discovered her mobility scooter had been stolen overnight, Sunday 9 May. The Pride three-wheeler, which is also Ms Cuthbertson’s pride and joy, is red with grey tyres. It has a basket on the front and carrier bag behind. Husband Ian said the thieves had somehow opened a bike lock on the gate from Elizabeth Street. “We heard the dogs barking late at night but didn’t think anything of it,” he said. “When I went out in the morning I noticed the gate…

A WOMAN with a “wealth of experience in trade, investment, tourism and systems of government, and an authentic passion for the Mornington Peninsula as a local resident” has replaced former federal Liberal cabinet minister Bruce Billson on the Committee for Mornington Peninsula. Zoe McKenzie, who joins the management committee, is principal of Trade and Investment Advisory, a company which advises clients on market expansion into Australia or on current or future free trade agreements. The Committee for Mornington Peninsula describes itself as an “independent, member-based organisation committed to leading and influencing long-term outcomes and contributing to our strategic objectives for…

TALKS on a merger between two of the Mornington Peninsula’s most prestigious golf clubs are back on track after stalling last month. Sorrento Golf Club captain David Paranthoiene, in a letter to members on 20 April, had said discussions were “paused” after Portsea Gold Club revised its position on previously agreed principles and expectations on how the merger would proceed. “It is the committee’s opinion that these changes may not be palatable for Sorrento members and [we] have … [decided] to seek clarification on these revised aspects of the merger proposal,” Mr Paranthoiene said. “These changes have the potential to…

A MORNINGTON resident described as a “very fit lady who is completely independent” is about to turn 100. Norwegian-born Olga Viken, who will reach the milestone on 19 May, is well regarded by her many friends and has no shortage of admirers. Indeed, her native country’s former Consul General Tomm Paulsen describes her as the “wonder woman from Mornington”. “In my 45 years in business and 22 years as Consul General in Melbourne and Victoria, I have met a number of royals, dignitaries and famous people from all over the world,” Mr Paulsen said. “I have rarely been more impressed…

KUNYUNG Primary School students have put on an art display to show their gratitude to the “wonderful frontline workers” at Frankston Hospital. Art teacher Arlene Drummond had earlier invited the “hospital heroes” from the emergency department, ICU and the COVID ward to send in head-and-shoulders photos of themselves. Grade 1-2 students then discussed how artists can express their feelings and ideas through their art. The hospital’s medical staff featured in the portraits visited the school last week to see the show and voice their appreciation. “We decided to draw a portrait of a hospital hero and the students had to…

A MOUNT Martha dog owner says he will “go to jail” rather than pay a $248 dog-at-large fine incurred last month. David Ball, of Samuel Close, said his 14-year-old Staffordshire, Bella, was “nabbed by default” as the Mornington Peninsula Shire officer was in the dead-end street, possibly looking for another dog which had “rushed” a neighbour, Wednesday 21 April. Mr Ball said Bella, just out of surgery after the removal of a cyst on her left back leg and several infected teeth, may have passed him on her way out to the garden which – like the neighbours – has…

POLICE in the Mornington divisional van had an interesting morning chasing a “very lost and scared” Border Collie off Mornington’s beaches. The pooch was first spotted about 200 metres offshore swimming towards Melbourne, Sunday 9 May. A quick thinking Senior Constable Michael Davies commandeered a small tinnie to pick him up but the water-logged pooch was having none of it and kept swimming around the boat preventing efforts to haul him in. After another boat joined in the rescue attempt Davies and First Constable Travis Perkins were able to guide the dog towards shore where he was handed over to…

CHILDREN frolicking in playgrounds in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Nepal and soon the Philippines can thank an initiative by Rotary clubs, including Mount Martha, for their equipment. The project, called Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds, sends old, redundant playgrounds overseas when they are no longer wanted and destined for landfill, providing a newfound world of fun for children in the Third World who often do not have even a swing or slide to enjoy. On Saturday 1 May the Rotarians loaded playgrounds from Alameda Avenue, Mornington, Barber Reserve, Somerville, Robertson Reserve, Balnarring and Iluka Road, Tyabb, into containers.…

THE Australasian 12-hole Hickory Cup played at The Valley Golf Club, Safety Beach, last week celebrated the best of golf using the equipment the game grew up on. About 40 players teed off with old fashioned hickory clubs or replicas in the 12-hole format on Friday 30 April for prize money of $1000, with professionals encouraged to compete. One of the top players was Dave Good, of Mornington, a previous winner of the Australian Senior Order of Merit, who has played professionally in Europe. The event was replicated on courses in Queensland, Sydney, Adelaide, and New Zealand, as well as…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire will begin collecting household food waste from Monday 19 July. The shire wants the collections to have a “huge impact on the environment” by reducing the amount of waste being sent to the Rye tip. Food waste, which makes up almost half of the loads sent to landfill, creates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Under the new plan, all food waste will be collected in green waste bins, including bread, dairy and meats. The scraps will be turned into commercial grade compost to be used as soil conditioners or fertilisers, enriching…

THE Mornington Peninsula had more businesses relying on the federal government’s JobKeeper program throughout the COVID-19 pandemic than any other Victorian municipality. From September, 59.2 per cent of peninsula businesses were being supported by the program – the third highest number in Australia. At the peak of the downturn in August 2205 “local” jobs were lost. In the wake of those statistics Mornington Peninsula Shire has decided to spend more than $10 million on helping the community recover from the economic and social effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Nepean MP Chris Brayne said while the peninsula’s economy was “certainly hit…

RYE traders are without a united voice following last month’s winding up of the Rye Beach Business Association. Its former secretary, marketing and business coordinator Jeanne Anderson – the association’s only paid employee – said a lack of support from members, who at one stage numbered 130, had caused its demise. “We could not run it without their support,” she said, adding that only one trader had turned up for the final meeting on Thursday 8 April. “No one was prepared to make decisions; some traders didn’t want to pay; some just didn’t see the benefits [of being a member].…

DOG walkers were being warned on social media last week to stay away from a Mornington park following reports of poison being found there. A dog was rushed to the vet after eating rat poison inside the stomach and intestines of a dead animal on the ground at the Dunns Road park. The dog later recovered. Environment protection manager Mark Upton said the shire was investigating the report. “One of our officers is working closely with the dog’s owner and has carried out a search of the park but no further poison or animal organs were found,” Mr Upton said.…

THE Mornington smart parking trial is reportedly reducing congestion in the busy shopping precinct and helping drivers find parking spaces. The 100 in-ground sensors installed in Mornington shopping areas from late December are on a six-month trial. The in-ground sensors transmit data to electric signs which show the number of available spaces inside a car park, or strip, saving drivers from looking for a free space. The sensors can detect a vehicle parked on them indicating that the bay is occupied or available. They do not detect or record information about the driver, passengers, or vehicle. The sensors do not…

THE closure of the Rosebud branch of the ANZ Bank on 18 March was on the cards for the past six months. In October 2020, the bank’s general manager for Victoria Michael Wake said: “Every year we see 10 per cent less transactions at our branches because our customers no longer use them for everyday banking like they used to. “While branch activity has declined, we’ve seen a spike in demand for many of our non-branch roles, such as customer contact centres and the operations team which manages hardship and other inquiries. “The majority of our customers now prefer the…

JIMMY’S Youth Wellbeing Sanctuary nearing completion at Rosebud is designed around the concept of “physiological architecture”, where tranquility and stillness arouse “positive emotional responses” in its clients. A central courtyard and bay views at the site in Point Nepean Road are calming, while the timber deck winding its way up to the front door and internal garden adds to a sense of wellbeing and openness. Jimmy’s Foundation is a registered charity which came about through the determination of Sarah Darling whose 33-year-old son Jimmy died in 2014. It is being managed and fostered by YMCA Peninsula Youth Services which has…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council has scrapped more than $140,000 overdue in fines and charges for overdue library books. The fines – described as a negative interaction between staff and customers that often cost more to process than the fine itself – will no longer be imposed. The mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said abolishing fines was a “wonderful decision for our community, especially during these unprecedented times”. “We understand the need to provide free and accessible literature and programs to all in our community,” she said. “Research has told us library fines prevent families from walking in the door out of…

TEMPORARY barricades, or parklets, were supposed to be removed from outside shops in Nepean Highway, Rosebud, on 6 April but an “internal delay” at the Department of Transport meant they stayed longer. The barriers, between Fourth and Fifth avenues, have caused friction between Rosebud Chamber of Commerce and Mornington Peninsula Shire to such an extent that the chamber was last week considering legal action. Chamber president Phil Cvetovac said despite pleas to remove them by traders whose businesses were being adversely affected the barriers had remained in place with no end date in sight. (“Concerns over barriers to trade” The…

ON a cold, wet night in Mount Eliza two years ago, Kalinda Nheu died when the driver of the yellow utility in which she was a passenger lost control, crossed the median strip, and skidded into the path of an approaching Ford Territory. The impact of the collision killed the 19-year-old and the male driver of the ute instantly, while the driver of the Ford was seriously injured. Somerville Highway Patrol police last week shared a video of the consequences of the tragic collision on Nepean Highway, opposite Mount Eliza Way. The video was part of Operation Nexus held over…

LIFESAVING clubs throughout the Mornington Peninsula have taken down the red and yellow flags for the 2020/21 season. The various clubs were involved in 63 rescues and 22,174 “preventative actions”. The season also leaves behind one of the state’s worst drowning tolls to date, with 51 fatalities since 1 July 2020. The extended season forVictoria’s 57 volunteer lifesaving clubs was helped with an extra $1.7 million from the state government. Overall, lifesavers and lifeguards conducted 230,000 preventative actions, 602 rescues and 130 helicopter missions as well as 15 winch rescues across Victoria. Their efforts were made against the backdrop of…

TWO Junior International Federation Tennis Tournaments are being held at Mornington Tennis Club this week and next. They are the Victorian Junior Clay Court International and the Gallipoli Youth Cup. The clay court qualifying matches were held last weekend (17 and 18 April) with the main draw being played all this week until Friday (23 April). The Gallipoli Youth Cup qualifying matches are on Saturday 24-Sunday 25 April with the main draw from Monday 26-Friday 30 April. Players from Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan and Korea are competing in singles and doubles matches. The boy’s field is led by Corban…

THREE mates who grew up together and attended the same schools on the Mornington Peninsula have combined their passion for the media and product placement with their own witty podcasts. Kyle Wright, Trent Reardon and Daniel Gray over the past eight years have used their own production company, Bacon Squash, to make movies and provide web content with the help of mates Nick Hollowood and Johnathon Cadd. Their latest film An Australian werewolf in Melbourne’ premiered last weekend. “Basically, what gave us the idea to do the podcast was to create something where we can promote local businesses and what…

TRADERS in the Rosebud shopping strip are querying the continuing use of parking barricades along Point Nepean Road now that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. “Parklets”, which gave traders the use of car parking spaces, were introduced to provide shops, mainly cafes, with more space in which to operate. But the protecting barricades have not benefitted all businesses, particularly those whose customers prefer to park nearby to make a quick purchase and drive off. Rosebud Flowers says it is facing collapse because of the barricades on Point Nepean Road between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Previous owner Marlene Knight has had…

CAT owners on the Mornington Peninsula are being reminded that their pets must always be kept on their properties. Although there is a 24-hour cat curfew set by Mornington Peninsula Shire many owners do not restrain their pets. Like dogs, cats are not allowed to wander unchecked because they pose a real threat to native animals and birds. “High numbers of cats [are] roaming around … doing massive damage to our wildlife, members,” according to members of Mornington Environmental Association. “Cats are catching lizards, birds and other creatures along Tanti Creek and along the Mornington foreshore, as well as in…

INTER-SCHOOL teacher visits are connecting Japanese programs at Mornington schools. The language link between schools help teachers gain a greater understanding of other schools’ Japanese lessons, as well as observe students’ progress as they pass through secondary school. Benton Junior College teachers Paul Seaman and Adele Jones observed Japanese programs at two other schools on their professional practice day, Friday 12 March. Ms Jones said they were welcomed by past Benton students when they visited Mornington Secondary College. “In order to strengthen our program at Benton and gain a greater understanding of what happens in high school Japanese lessons, Mornington…

A TABLE tennis player in the hunt for a berth at this year’s Tokyo Olympics is the new club ambassador and high performance coach at Mornington Peninsula Table Tennis Association. Heming Hu, who represented Australia at the 2016 Brazil Olympics, and the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, complements the association’s in-house coaching team. Heming was the 2019 Australian men’s singles champion, the 2018/19 men’s Oceania Cup singles champion and reached a world ranking high of 67. Asked why he has partnered with the Mornington Peninsula Table Tennis Association, Heming, a secondary school teacher, said: “I want to…

MORNINGTON police are keen to hear from residents willing to share their property’s CCTV camera footage in the event of a nearby crime. Senior Sergeant Paul Edwards said a strong victim-centric focus on policing meant they could “leverage off the cameras to improve our response, add to our crime prevention options and assist in solving crime on the Mornington Peninsula”. “By working with our community and building sustainable relationships to enhance our ability to solve and prevent crime, we can reduce harm to the community,” Senior Sergeant Edwards said. Residents are being urged to let police know of any CCTV…

A FORMER Christmas tree grower says that the Mornington Peninsula is heading towards a rabbit plague. Ron Reaper, who ran Santa’s Place on the corner of Moorooduc Highway and Bentons Road, Moorooduc, for 18 years, said he “fought rabbits the whole time and never got them under control”. Now he fears rabbits are about to get out of control. “As soon as I cleaned up my place they would come back from other people’s places,” he said. “We were poisoning them all the time but never got on top of them.” Mr Reaper said that when the rabbits ran out…

REAL estate agents are expressing surprise, and joy, at the strength of the property market in Mount Martha. While it seemed mid-2020 that a downturn was on the cards thanks to a COVID-induced melancholy, that feeling was quickly replaced by a rising sense of optimism, and then delight, as buyers came knocking and sales began to exceed expectations. But one of the biggest surprises is the number of buyers moving from Sorrento and Portsea to Mount Martha. The convenience of being 40 minutes or so closer to Melbourne and nightmare-inducing summer traffic flows on the southern peninsula are some of…

THE Victorian Farmers’ Federation wants farmers and other landowners to delay burning off to help protect Mornington Peninsula grape growers. The VFF’s peninsula branch says this year’s harvest would be “highly impacted by smoke taint in this critical period immediately prior to harvest”. Fire restrictions on the peninsula were lifted at 1am, Monday 15 March, while the nets will be coming off vineyards in the next few weeks before the start of picking. The VFF says farmers should not be burning wet or green material as it generates more smoke. It says trees that have recently fallen will still be…