GOOD MORNING IM TONI BRIENT FOR RPP FM NEWS

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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

I’M TONI BRIENT FOR RPP FM.

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AuthorToni Brient