Local MPs say Mornington Peninsula and Frankston residents are set to benefit this financial year, following the release of the state budget last Tuesday.

Frankston MP Geoff Shaw says the government is investing heavily in Frankston.

Nepean MP Martin Dixon says the projects announced in the budget will be welcomed by locals.

GRAB MARTIN DIXON: I think there are specific projects in there that will certainly help local communities. And then there’s all-over changes, high level changes that will benefit the hip-pocket and the way of life of the residents of the area. END GRAB.

The Napthine government announced number of big-ticket items in the state budget for the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula areas.

The Port of Hastings development was highlighted as a key economic growth project, with $20 million committed in the next financial year as part of the previously announced $110 million for preliminary development plans.


Public transport is also set to be upgraded.

$700,000 was committed in the budget to upgrades in the Frankston transit interchange precinct.

The project is estimated to cost taxpayers $13.9 million over the four-year period to 2017.

An upgrade to rail infrastructure in the Bayside region has also been announced, including station and railway upgrades on the Frankston line.

Nepean MP Martin Dixon says this is a major win for the community.

GRAB MARTIN DIXON: The newer trains actually can’t run on the Frankston line because the design of signals and monitors at stations.

So modifications are going to be made to all the stations, plus improved safety, lighting, canopies, and a whole range of amenities to make the line safer but also the capacity to take more trains and therefore carry more people. END GRAB.

The government has committed $10 million for Bayside rail expansion in this budget, and promised a further $90 million over the following three years.


Other Peninsula and Frankston items in the Budget include $2.5 million for desilting in Kananook Creek and just over $3 million for environmental programs in Port Phillip Bay and Westernport Bay.

The government has also committed to building a new police station in Somerville, and increasing Carrum Downs police station operation hours from 16 to 24 hours a day.


Now to football news, for results of Round 6 the ‘Pink Round’, and a happy belated Mother’s Day to all those dedicated mothers and wives who spent yesterday washing the grass stains off dirty shorts and jerseys.

 In the Nepean League, Sorrento Under 18s defeated Tyabb by 167 points to reclaim their place on top of the ladder following two weeks in second place. Red Hill continue to dominate the Nepean Reserves, this week defeating Pearcedale by 67 points. In the Seniors, Sorrento one again came out on top, this week with a 119-point victory over Tyabb.

 In the Peninsula League, Frankston YCW top the Seniors and Under 18s ladders following their Pink Round clash with Seaford. YCW Seniors managed a 64-point victory, while the Under 18s came out just 12 points on top. Mt Eliza are leading the Reserves, winning by 30 points against Pines.


Back in politics, the Mornington Peninsula Shire and Frankston City Council could soon be recognised in the Commonwealth Constitution.

The Gillard government announced on Thursday that voters heading to the polls for the federal election in September will also vote on whether or not they want local government to remain an extension of the state, or be recognised as independent of it.

The Gillard government says Constitutional recognition would secure federal funding for local government because it would not need to be filtered through the state.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Lynne Bowden says the day-to-day operation of council would remain relatively unchanged whatever the outcome of the referendum.

GRAB LYNNE BOWDEN: On a day-to-day basis, local government operates the way it does. I can’t see any changes. But at this stage there’s not a lot of information and until the decision is made we just have to wait and see. END GRAB.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Lynne Bowden. 



AuthorToni Brient


The Mornington Peninsula Shire launched a new employment program on Wednesday, which aims to strengthen the links between businesses and job seekers.

PEN-Step, funded by the state and federal governments, assists businesses to find suitable candidates for their job vacancies.

Local training organisation Advance welcomes the program.

CEO Steve Wright says PEN-Step fills the gap between training and employment left by the state government.

GRAB STEVE WRIGHT: They have basically ceased most of their employment-supported programs. They focus a lot on training, which is a good thing. So this, the PEN-Step program is working with individuals and businesses to try and match those into those jobs that are hard to fill. END GRAB.  


Police have charged a Dandenong man following the discovery of a dead body in Carrum Downs last week.

The accused was named on Thursday as Glenn Carleton.

Mr Carleton was charged with one count of manslaughter at an out-of-sessions court hearing in Melbourne later that evening.

He was scheduled to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

Homicide Squad detectives located the deceased man near Eastlink in Carrum Downs on Wednesday.

Still in police news, four men were charged yesterday afternoon following a series of armed robberies around the Peninsula and Bayside last week.

Ten robberies took place at service stations and convenience stores, four of which were located on the Peninsula.

Three Bendigo men and one Hampton East man were each charged with numerous counts of committing and conspiring to commit armed robbery.

They will appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court today.

The men were discovered by police in an overturned car on Racecourse Rd, Mornington just before midnight on Thursday.


Figures released by the state government last week suggest the demand for public housing in Frankston is rising.

Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell said the southern-metro area generally experienced a drop in applicants for the March quarter, reflecting the statewide reduction of 382 applicants during that period.

But the waiting list for public housing in Frankston rose by 32, taking it to a total of almost two thousand applicants.

According to Frankston City mayor Cr Sandra Mayer, the figures are reflective of a range of issues affecting Frankston residents.

GRAB SANDRA MAYER: Some of the issues that we’re experiencing are the increasing prices in the rentals and the housing prices. And also economic factors that are impacting on the numbers, such as unemployment, an increasing ageing population, and a shortage of appropriate emergency housing facilities. END GRAB.

Cr Mayer says the City is working together with the government on a range of housing solutions.

The state government declined requests for an interview.


A 77-year-old Aspendale man died in hospital on Thursday after his car was hit by a truck in Aspendale on Wednesday.

The collision occurred on Nepean Highway, Aspendale, in the early afternoon. Traffic was re-routed via Station Street, causing hours-long delays in both directions.

The truck driver and his two passengers escaped injuries. The driver is assisting police with enquiries.

The Aspendale man’s death brings the state’s provisional road toll to 87, seven counts lower than this time last year.


In football news, and Seaford are dwarfing the competition in the Peninsula league. They’re topping the Reserves and Under 18s ladders, and sitting second to Frankston YCW in the Seniors. The side met with Mornington this week, defeating them by 4 points in the Seniors, 58 in the Reserves, and 53 in the Under 18s.

 In the Nepean League, Sorrento top the Seniors ladder for the second week in a row, claiming a whopping one hundred, forty nine-point victory over Red Hill. By contrast, the Red Hill Reserves came out 20 points ahead, retaining top spot on the Reserves ladder and keeping Sorrento in second place. Sorrento are also second best in the Under 18s with Deavon Meadows still on top, defeating Frankston Bombers by 28 points.


In education, state Education Minister and Member for Nepean Martin Dixon last week announced a one hundred, eighty-five thousand dollar grant to upgrade Moorooduc Primary School’s water system.

Moorooduc Primary is not connected to the town water mains, and has experienced ongoing water shortages in the past.

The grant was announced late on Thursday for new water and piping systems, following a community meeting at the school on Wednesday night.

Mr Dixon says the water systems upgrade is not part of the school’s maintenance budget.

GRAB MARTIN DIXON: This is money that we’ve found in our contingency unit, in emergency projects and maintenance money. And on top of that, we will give extra money to the school to maintain the system on top of their normal maintenance money that they would receive from the Department. END GRAB.

Moorooduc Primary School principal Peter Quigley welcomes the announcement, but urges the state government to acknowledge the school has other ongoing maintenance issues that need to be addressed.

GRAB PETER QUIGLEY: We’ve got several buildings that are well below standards. We’ve got rotting boards, leaking roofs. END GRAB.

According to Mr Quigley, the upcoming state budget announcement is not likely to provide any hope.

GRAB PETER QUIGLEY: I’ve virtually been guaranteed that Moorooduc will be receiving no extra maintenance funding. There’s nothing on the board for us in the foreseeable future. END GRAB.

The state government will release its 2013-2014 budget tomorrow.


AuthorToni Brient


 Frankston state independent MP Geoff Shaw is set to become an important figure on Spring Street following a by election at Lyndhurst over the weekend.

 ABC reports the seat was won by state Labor candidate Martin Pakula. The win means the Coalition government and Labor opposition now hold 43 seats each in the Victorian House of Representatives.

This means Mr Shaw’s vote will be a crucial one in close votes. The Frankston MP defected from the Liberal party last month, to become the only independent in the lower house.

He voted with the ALP for the first time last week, on a Bill relating to contact between biological parents and adopted children.


 The trip to university is about to become much easier for students living on the Mornington Peninsula, with the recent launch of a new smartphone application.

The Get Me To Class app was developed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire in partnership with RMIT University.

It enables students to synchronise their university class schedule with public transport timetables on their smart phones and mobile devices, ensuring they find their way to class easily– and on time.

The project is the brainchild of Mornington Peninsula Shire Transport Connections Project Manager Rita Kontos.

GRAB RITA KONTOS: The Get Me To Class app was really initiated because we needed to find ways to assist students in reaching hard-to-reach campuses and destinations. And most of our tertiary institutions, of course, are in the metropolitan area, so we needed to be able to do something to link these students with existing services. END GRAB.


 Mornington Peninsula tradespeople are being encouraged to enter this year’s WorkSafe Awards for occupational health and safety, following high levels of compensation claims in recent years.

Occupational health & safety regulator WorkSafe last week announced 12 categories for this year’s competition.

Figures released earlier this month suggest that over 1 billion dollars in compensation has been awarded to tradespeople in Victoria since 2008.

According to Leader newspapers, Mornington Peninsula tradespeople claimed over 18 million dollars in that period.

The competition will close in July, and winners will be announced in October.


 In environment news, Mornington Peninsula environmental activists are vowing to keep fighting for the protection of the Tootgarook Wetlands, despite a Supreme Court ruling which potentially opens the area for development.

Friends of Chinaman’s Creek’s Norman McKinlay says activists will explore the possibility of having the site protected under the international Ramsar Convention, although he says this is no guarantee of security for the Wetlands.

GRAB NORMAN KCKINLAY: We have Westernport which is now a Ramsar wetlands, but it really doesn’t protect it 100 per cent. What we need is to get one body that looks after the whole Tootgarook swamp, because it’s split into so many different landholders that it’s a very complicated situation.  END GRAB.

Ultimately, Mr McKinlay would like to see a designated body like Melbourne Water protecting the Wetlands.

GRAB NORMAN MCKINLAY: They’ve got all the expertise and possibly money on hand. END GRAB.


Frankston Police are embracing social media to better engage with the community, with a new Facebook campaign, Eyewatch.

Victoria Police launched the Frankston Eyewatch Facebook page on Wednesday, as part of an expansion of the program into 11 new localities.

The Facebook page allows police to connect with the community, which Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells says will make contacting witnesses to crimes much easier.

The program is funded by Victoria Police, with a 5 thousand dollar contribution from Eyewatch partner, Neighbourhood Watch.


Over to football now, Round 4 and Sorrento have pushed the Frankston Bombers to second place on the Nepean Seniors’ ladder, following a 45-point win against Pearcedale. Red Hill Reserves defeated Dromana by just 4 points to retain the lead in the Reserves.  And the Deavon Meadows Under 18s have defeated Hastings 99 to seven, pushing Sorrento to second place on the Under 18s ladder.

 Frankston YCW continue to dominate in the Peninsula league after round 4, occupying top spot on the Seniors, and second place on the Reserves and Under 18s ladders. YCW Seniors defeated Karingal 79-63. The reserves are second to Mt Eliza, who had a 79-point win against Bonbeach. And Seaford leads the under 18s following a 97-point win against Edithvale-Aspendale.


 The Nepean Historical Society President is calling on authorities to address existing infrastructure prior to commencing development at Point Nepean.

Doreen Parker highlights traffic congestion as a major issue for southern Peninsula, which would potentially worsen under plans to develop hotels and retail spaces at Point Nepean.

GRAB DOREEN PARKER: Clearly that has to be managed better than it is now, because you just can’t get through whenever there’s a large event at Portsea. You can’t really address the issues without controlling the traffic. END GRAB.

Specific plans for Point Nepean are still unclear. The state government will be holding community consultation sessions at Point Nepean next weekend.


AuthorToni Brient