Author: Stephen Taylor

SORRENTO Surf Life Saving Club will be given $1 million by Mornington Peninsula Shire, despite accusations it is “jumping the budget queue” at the expense of less-privileged clubs. Vice-president and treasurer Marc Clavin says the money is an “investment in significant public safety”. “In comparison to other Mornington Peninsula Shire Council-funded projects, the Sorrento SLSC will prevent drownings, which makes this … application an investment in significant public safety,” he said. “The current arrangement of storing primary rescue equipment at an off-site location more than half a kilometre away from the beach – combined with challenging traffic issues at peak…

A VIETNAM veteran is making Christmas gifts that bring joy to the little ones and raising money for his fellow veterans. Vic Alsbury, of Barkly Street, Mornington, makes and paints wooden toy trains that he sells from a table at his front gate. The trains, which sell for $75, are selling out quickly. Supporting the Vietnam Veterans’ Association is a cause dear to Mr Alsbury’s heart. “The vets have missed out on two years of get-togethers, such as Long Tan Day, due to COVID-19 and so I thought I would help raise some money for the committee this way,” he…

Professor Jeff Floyd THE founding CEO and former chair of Parks Victoria has developed a proposal he calls a “win for the environment and for the Ross Trust”. Success of the plan will depend on the state government buying land from the trust. Professor Jeff Floyd was a signatory to an open letter organised by the Save Arthurs Seat group calling on the philanthropic charity RE Ross Trust to abandon its plans for a new quarry on Arthurs Seat. Their campaign was successful, with the trust announcing last week it had abandoned its plans. (‘People-power’ ends quarry bid” The News…

FORMER Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Despi O’Connor wants to ride the next “big wave” into federal politics with the support of disillusioned voters turning away from the major parties towards independents. That desire has prompted her to throw her hat into the ring to contest the seat of Flinders, being vacated by health and aged care minister Greg Hunt, at the next federal election. Cr O’Connor took leave of absence from council from Wednesday (15 December) and will return her council-supplied mobile phone, computer, home office hardware, iPad and council building access card. Although allowed to continue as a…

QUICK thinking and a knowledge of first aid enabled fireman Steve Axup to save a Cape Schanck woman. WHEN off-duty firefighter Steve Axup saw a car in a ditch and a woman waving frantically for help in Rosebud last week he immediately did a U-turn and pulled over to help. On the side of Boneo Road, a 50-year-old Cape Schanck woman was unconscious and in cardiac arrest. It was at that moment – 10.30am, Wednesday 8 December – that FRV Officer Axup’s prompt action probably saved her life. Quickly dragging the woman from her car while someone called 000, and…

THE long-running battle over plans to establish a McDonald’s outlet at a Safety Beach service station site has been won by its opponents. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week knocked back a permit application by AA Holdings to include the fast0food outlet at its BP service station, corner Marine Drive and Nepean Highway. The company had sought approval in November 2019 to develop the site as a service station and drive-through restaurant, to remove vegetation, create and alter access to an access road and construct signs and associated works. Mornington Peninsula Shire refused the permit in July last…

THE former president of the Italian Seniors Social Club of Dromana wants Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Cr Antonella Celi to apologise after a tense annual meeting at which the former committee resigned and a new one was elected. Antonio Telera, who was an official at the club for more than a decade, said the Cr Celi was “interfering” and “patronising” to himself, his wife Pina, and former treasurer Loreto Tersigni at the meeting at the Rosebud Memorial Hall, 26 November. He said when Ms Telera queried Cr Celi’s handling of the meeting she was told to “sit down or I will…

SEVENTEEN past students were back at Sorrento Primary School on 1 December as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations – some being amazed at changes to buildings and grounds. “Many memories were shared,” principal Meg Dallas said. “Including how trenches were dug for World War II. “One visitor remembered jumping over the Norfolk pine at the front gate in the 1950s – making it over 70 years old.” Nepean Historical Society displayed memorabilia and photo albums provided by the school. “Those who attended the function enjoyed a trip down memory lane and will be sharing further information about the school…

SAVE Arthurs Seat supporters are cheering a decision by The Ross Trust to abandon its bid to dig a quarry on the Pioneer site at Dromana. The controversial plan, under which Hillview Quarries would extract stone from a 43 hectare site on the north face of Arthurs Seat, became a rallying point for environmentalists determined to protect one of the last pockets of natural bushland on the Mornington Peninsula. Now, after eight years the battle – first against a tip on the site in 2013, and then the quarry – has been won. “This is a win for people power,…

DISABILITY support organisation Wallara, based at Sages Farm, Baxter, says its future expansion depends on receiving $750,000 each from the state and federal governments. The charity, which helps those living with a disability prepare for and find employment, has invested more than $2 million without receiving any money from government – despite it being two years since CEO Phil Hayes-Brown asked for their support. “The farm has proven its ability to create jobs,” Hayes-Brown told a lunch last week attended by partners Frankston RSL and St Kilda Football Club. “Local businesses can see what we are doing here and the…

SOMERVILLE resident Chris Renouf is training for the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival next week to raise money for Very Special Kids. The children’s charity provides professional support services to Victorian families who have a child with a life-threatening condition. In late 2019, Chris and his partner Tess lost their two-year-old son Reggie to complications stemming from infantile onset pompe disease. Since Reggie’s diagnosis, Very Special Kids has provided support to Chris and his family, helping them through what’s been described as a “devastating journey”. The charity continues to provide the services of a dedicated support practitioner, professional counselling services and…

THE Mornington Peninsula is on the front line of the impacts of climate change, a situation not lost on organisers of a climate action open letter to politicians of all persuasions. The group says the peninsula’s ocean and bay frontages and extensive bushland make it vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, such as bushfires over the 2019/20 summer, and severe storms which struck on Friday 29 October. Letter organiser Amy Gregorovich, a volunteer with Environment Victoria, said: “Our communities have gone through an immensely difficult period with bushfires, the pandemic, and more recently huge storm events. “This pandemic has…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire’s decision to “really embrace” schoolies celebrations this year with live music, a bar, food trucks, peer support and harm minimisation services, has paid dividends. The two-day, festival-style event on the Rye foreshore, 27-28 November, attracted upwards of 7000 party-goers keen to let their hair down after being denied the opportunity last year because of the pandemic. By most accounts, the organised schoolies “experience” went well, but there were rumblings of discontent over how some behaved, with one 15-year-old boy charged with assault and resisting arrest after allegedly punching a police sergeant from behind on the foreshore. And…

SAVE Arthurs Seat protesters have been told to remove signs they have erected on roads near the Hillview quarry site. The large signs protesting the Ross Trust’s plans for a new quarry on Arthurs Seat feature an image of “blood” dripping down from a scar on the hillside and the words No New Quarry Ross Trust! are said to be in breach of planning laws. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council ordered the signs down after receiving complaints. It told the Save Arthurs Seat group the signs were too large and were deemed as “promotional”, which puts them in breach of clause…

TWO Mount Martha students have been selected to play in School Sport Victoria’s 12 years and under soccer teams in NSW next month. Jack Barnet, who attends Mount Martha Primary, and Tilly Boadle, of Woodleigh School, will play in the Sydney International Cup at Cromer Park Sports Complex, Friday 3 December-Sunday 5 December. Jack is goalie in the boys’ team while Tilly plays attacking midfield in the girls’ team. Team Vic football’s Jeanetta Rodwell said Jack had performed well in a structured trial process before being selected. “Jack plays for the Mornington Soccer Club in the under-12s and has been…

TWO Mount Eliza brothers – both members of Portsea Life Saving Club – have been recognised for their efforts in saving three young women from dangerous seas at Canadian Bay. Their Everyday Lifesaver Award recognises “outstanding bystander rescues undertaken in a safe manner that doesn’t put the rescuer at risk”. In September last year, Oscar and Ryan Peddle were surfing a “bay wave” in 60-70kph winds and four-foot waves. The chaotic conditions were so extreme that Ryan said afterwards he had “never seen Canadian Bay like that before”. Hearing a woman’s frantic calls, the boys paddled their boards to help…

DRIVERS out of pocket after their cars’ tyres and rims were damaged by a “deep, sharp” pothole on Graydens Road are determined that Mornington Peninsula Shire Council should pay their repair bills. But the shire is standing firm, saying claims under section 110 of the Roads Management Act 2004 (Vic), release road authorities, such as councils, from paying the first $1460 of damage thereby making the claims invalid. One of the victims, Annelie Burford, of Balnarring, was driving along Graydens Road, between Coolart and Frankston-Flinders Road, 5.15pm, Monday 15 November, when she hit the pothole and was forced off the…

A MURAL at Dromana marks the 20th anniversary of the Rye group of community banks. Rye was the first of the banks, followed by Dromana and then Rosebud, with the Rosebud business centre added more recently. Senior manager at Dromana, Fiona Somjee, arranged for artist Wina Jie to create the mural which depicts peninsula people and the banks’ yearly contribution to sporting groups, CFAs, surf lifesaving clubs, and arts groups. Included in the mural are Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck on the Dromana Drive-In cinema screen from the film On the Beach. The central figure was inspired by Kanoula, a…

ARBORISTS estimate it will take another two months to finish inspecting and assessing the health of trees damaged on the Mornington Peninsula in last month’s storms. Mornington Peninsula Shire says it is still responding to “immediate and high-risk works” a month after that windy Friday 29 October. It received more than 2500 requests for assistance involving fallen or damaged trees and tree debris. To cope with the demand, up to 12 teams, including sub-contractors, have been working seven days a week inspecting and removing trees and debris from roads, driveways, parks and reserves, sporting fields, community houses, pre-schools and camping…

Community information sessions will provide an update on relief and recovery efforts after the devastating storms which hit the Mornington Peninsula on Friday 29 October. Representatives from the shire, United Energy and SES, will talk with residents about their work in the days after the storm and the continuing recovery work. The community is welcome to provide feedback on the emergency response and to raise any other needs or concerns. The sessions are being held at Red Hill Recreation Reserve, 184 Arthurs Seat Road, 5.30-7pm, Monday 29 November, and Emil Madsen Reserve, 261 Wooralla Drive, Mount Eliza, 5.30-7pm, Tuesday 30 November. An online session will…

BALNARRING’S most contentious manna gum will get the chop after Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors decided that the only way to save it – spending $110,000 on realigning Balnarring Beach Road – was more than they were prepared to pay. Councillors at the 15 November meeting voted 6-5 to support the infrastructure services team’s recommendation to remove the 100-year-old street tree, given its estimated 15-year future life span, the cost of realigning the road to retain it, and a legal requirement to provide suitable clearance to high vehicles, including buses. The team said it had looked at making the road one-way,…

THE new Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Anthony Marsh is almost certainly the first with an aerospace engineering degree and a master’s in business administration. He has been a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and founder of several businesses – and he is only 34. The first term councillor won the mayoral vote 7:2 against the long-serving Cr Antonella Celi with another first-term councillor, Lisa Dixon, elected as his deputy at the council meeting in the shire’s Mornington chamber, Tuesday 16 November. Such was the new broom that swept through the council in November 2020, that they…

THE Mornington Peninsula’s music scene is poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger than any other Victorian region, according to music industry booker Shaun Adams. This was predicted at the inaugural Mornington Peninsula Music Network’s professional development and networking event on 13 October, said to be the largest-ever gathering of music industry representatives on the peninsula. Ex-CEO Music Victoria Paddy Donovan compered the day and updated the peninsula music sector on the shire’s music plan which he helped to write. Those involved in putting it together were Robin Griffiths, Heidi Luckhurst, Maxon and Michael Clarke. Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr…

OUTGOING mayor Despi O’Connor’s decision to accept the top job at virtually her first Mornington Peninsula Shire Council meeting came down to wanting to be a role model to those she was teaching, and had taught, as a primary school teacher. “My plan was to continue working and adjust my life to fit in the extra commitment,” she said at last week’s handover of the top job to another first-timer, Cr Anthony Marsh. “I was already used to volunteering 20 hours a week in my community, give or take, on top of full time work. I always managed to make…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire will write to Planning Minister Richard Wynne seeking a review and public consultation into the clothing-optional status of Mount Eliza’s nude beach, Sunnyside North. The council says the review should consider “patterns of visitor behaviour on the beach itself and the surrounding area”. It should be led and resourced by the state government. The council will also write to the opposition planning and heritage spokesperson Ryan Smith to push for the review. Cr Steve Holland seconded by Cr Anthony Marsh moved the notice of motion for the review at the 1 November council meeting. Also included was…

FIRST-TERM councillor Anthony Marsh was elected Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor at last night’s council meeting, Tuesday 16 November. He succeeds another first-term councillor, Despi O’Connor, in the top job. Cr Susan Bissinger nominated Cr Marsh who represents Briars Ward, as does Cr O’Connor. He went on to win the mayoral vote 7:2 against the long-serving Cr Antonella Celi. Cr Marsh said the past 12 months had been “tough” on the shire. “People have felt isolated, businesses are on the brink … we need a balance of strong leadership and compassion.” Cr Marsh said he would seek councillor and community support to…

HASTINGS MP Neale Burgess, pictured, will not recontest the seat of Hastings at the next state election in November. He said after 16 years it was the “right time for me and it’s the right time for my party” to resign, saying he is confident leader Matthew Guy and his team “have the vision, policy ideas and capacity to offer a competitive and credible alternative” at the next poll. His resignation is another shifting of the sands beneath the state Liberal Party which is experiencing multiple internal contests including Mornington where former federal Dunkley MP Chris Crewther is throwing his…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council last week adopted its 2022-32 Financial Plan as a framework for services and spending over the next 10 years. The Local Government Act 2020 requires councils to develop and adopt a financial plan for that period. Chief Financial Officer Bulent Oz said financial planning was the process of aligning financial capacity with long-term service objectives. “This financial plan is our key financial planning document and establishes a sound financial framework for council’s decisions,” he said. “It is instrumental in ensuring we can deliver enhanced services now and in the future. “The purpose of this … plan…

POOL and spa owners on the Mornington Peninsula have more time to get their safety barriers inspected and certified as compliant with Mornington Peninsula Shire guidelines. Planning Minister Richard Wynne last week acknowledged the challenges imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, including limits on building inspectors visiting homes, and extended the deadline for a first certificate to 1 June next year. Subsequent deadlines have also moved back to June 2023 and June 2024. A five-month extension from the original 1 June deadline last year was granted until 1 November 2020 because of the effects of the coronavirus and also its impact…

WHILE it seemed the whole neighbourhood turned up to Lisa Rick’s Halloween street party last week not all came with the best intentions. Each year the Mornington resident celebrates her birthday on Halloween, 31 October, by combining the fun and frivolity of Trick or Treat with her own birthday festivities in a massive event. (“Tricks and treats add to party fun” The News 2/11/21). On that Sunday Ms Rick, of Jacana Street, put on a colourful display on her front lawn with the bash even more special as it was also her 50th. It featured an ice cream truck and…