David Morris MP

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) — As part of the former government’s unfortunate plans for the commercialisation of Port Phillip Bay a marina development was proposed for Mornington harbour.

My opposition to the planned development is well known locally, and has been stated clearly in submissions to both the Shire of Mornington Peninsula and the independent panel.
The hearings concluded last Friday, but in the dying hours a submission was tendered on behalf of the proponents responding to queries from the panel, including the likely investment of ‘private’ and ‘public’ moneys.
To my amazement the proponents suggested to the panel that arrangements would be reached where the government would fund not only the entire cost of the pier wave screen and the new return on the existing pier but also one‑third of the total costs of the remaining works!
This is on top of more than half a million dollars that the previous government contributed to planning the privatisation of a harbour that has been a public facility for more than 150 years.
Supporters of the development, and there are very few, argue that the only way that works to make Mornington a safe harbour can be funded is as part of a marina development. However, the document makes it clear that the plan relies not only on transferring a public asset into private hands but on a substantial investment of public funds as well to make the project viable.
That might have been the way the Brumby government operated, but that is not the way we work. If funds of that scale are to be made available by government, it can only be to fund works that will improve facilities for all members of the community.
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