Mornington MP, David Morris, has demanded the Minister for Planning “call in” and reject the application for planning approval for a retirement village in Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza.

The first application lodged for the land was rejected by VCAT on appeal, after an initial refusal by the Shire Council. This time the applicant has taken their case straight to VCAT, by-passing council consideration.

Speaking in Parliament this week Mr Morris said:

This is the second planning application on this site. The first one was rejected, quite rightly…the second one should absolutely be rejected as well.

This is a site outside the urban growth boundary. It is a site in the area that amendment C270 seeks to rezone to green wedge. It is a landmark site right on the southern side of Mount Eliza.

What is proposed here is a development with a footprint of nearly 15 000 square metres. It is not a modest, sympathetic extension to an existing facility, it is a massive development—yes smaller than the first one, but it is an absolutely massive development with numerous three- and four-storey buildings…

To approve this application would be totally contrary to planning policies that go back to the 1970s in this area…this is a linear development between towns. It is effectively an expansion of the urban area of Mount Eliza…every expansion of the urban growth boundary needs to be agreed to by a motion by this house and by the other place…call it in and knock it on the head.

Further information: David Morris on 5975 4799

Mornington’s share of the State Budget – Not a whole lot!

In a welcome departure from its usual habit of ignoring the Mornington Electorate in the State Budget the Victorian Government has finally funded two desperately needed local projects.

After more than ten years of campaigning the Government has committed to re-build Mornington Special Development School, committing “at least $6.769 million” in today’s state budget. But students, parents and teachers shouldn’t be expecting immediate action as only a fraction of the funds allocated to the program will be spent in the next financial year. The budget papers show an “estimated completion date” of December 2025.

Despite the likely delay I am delighted the Government has finally seen sense. For too long this school has had to make do with sub-standard temporary accommodation, and no guarantee that the school would even remain on the current site. This announcement provides the certainty the school needs to confidently plan for the future.

The budget also provides funding for “critical works” on Mornington’s Fisherman’s Jetty which has been “temporarily closed” since 2020. The extent of the funding was not disclosed in the budget papers, so whether there will be enough money to actually re-open the jetty, or even when the works will be undertaken, remains uncertain. In spite of these misgivings I am pleased the Government has finally responded to my repeated calls for action.

These small wins are long overdue, but too many desperately needed projects were overlooked in this budget including:

  • Action to fix congestion on Bungower Road and Mornington-Tyabb Road
  • Desperately needed safety works at the intersections of Forest Drive and Uralla Road with Nepean Highway in Mount Martha
  • Long overdue and much needed investment in Mornington Park Primary School and Mount Eliza Secondary College
  • No funding to back the Shire’s commitment to the Peninsula Trail between Moorooduc and Mornington.

This year’s state budget was pretty much what we’ve come to expect in the Mornington Electorate – not a whole lot!

1 Mount Eliza Way – Not For Sale

Mornington MP, David Morris, has called on the Andrews Government to abandon the sale of 1 Mount Eliza Way, and to work with the local community to retain this important site in public ownership.

No. 1 Mount Eliza Way forms part of the gateway to the Mount Eliza Village. It is a 2600-square metre block, with an asking price of $2 million to $2.2 million.
Speaking in Parliament this week, Mr Morris said the impact of the government’s financial recklessness is becoming evident with the sale of assets, including this site, to prop up the budget.

“The issue is that the government is doing this with absolutely no warning.”

“This land has been a reserve for as long as anyone can remember, and in fact when I looked at the Landata map last night, it is identified as the Mount Eliza Way Reserve. It appears it was a road reserve purchase that is no longer required and is now being disposed of.”

“The recent report from the Environment and Planning Committee, made the point that requiring highest and best use, which is government policy, leads to loss of sites such as this—sites that have been used for passive recreation for decades if not significantly more. This one probably goes back to the 1960s, when the road was constructed.”

“This is the main gateway to Mount Eliza. It is an absolutely critical site. It will have a significant impact on the treescape if this proceeds and is developed.

Volunteer Emergency Services Grants in Mornington

Member for Mornington David Morris MP has welcomed support for two local lifesaving clubs.  Mornington Life Saving Club will receive $2,270 and Mount Martha Life Saving Club will receive $24,156 in funding, as part of the latest round of Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) Grants. 

The grants will assist the clubs in buying lifesaving equipment. 

“Our lifesaving clubs provide vital safety and educational services to the local community,” Mr Morris said.  “The $26,426 in combined grants will help the two clubs to deliver on Life Saving Victoria’s vision of educating the community about water safety, resuscitation and swimming, while providing safe aquatic environments and venues for all.”

The VESEP is an annual Victorian Government grants program which provides funding to Victorian emergency services volunteer groups to purchase essential operational equipment, vehicles and appliances and minor facility improvements.  Eligible volunteer emergency service groups can apply for a grant up to a maximum of $150,000 excluding GST.  The VESEP provides $2 for every $1 of funding contributed by the local volunteer group. 

“Volunteerism is very important to our community in the Mornington electorate and I’m delighted to see the work of two long-standing volunteer groups acknowledged in this way,” Mr Morris said. 

It’s Homelessness Week – Why is the Minister hiding the waiting lists?

The number of disadvantaged Victorians on Labor’s social housing waitlist is at record levels and growing but is being kept hidden.

Social housing is a key factor in the fight against homelessness, but five weeks after the end of the financial year Housing Minister Richard Wynne is yet to release the social housing waiting list data for the June Quarter.

The number of Victorian applicants on the social housing waiting list has soared since Labor came to power, jumping from a total of just 34,618 in September 2014 to almost 51,000 in the March 2021 quarter, a 47 per cent blowout.

For applicants classified as “priority” the situation is dire. In September 2014, 9,990 priority applicants were on the waiting list, in March this year the numbers had almost tripled to 27,500.

Daniel Andrews has no plan to tackle Victoria’s worsening public housing crisis or provide meaningful support for the tens of thousands of Victorians struggling with homelessness.

This week is National Homelessness Week, intended to raise awareness of homelessness and the importance of social housing as part of a serious solution. The 2016 census estimated that almost 25,000 Victorians were homeless.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Housing, David Morris:

“The delay in the release of the housing waiting lists makes me wonder just how bad the news is going to be when the Minister finally releases the data.

“Despite their rhetoric, Richard Wynne and Daniel Andrews are guilty of having no plan for those Victorians struggling with homelessness. Instead of wasted billions on metro project cost blow outs and to polish his own public image with secret taxpayer-funded focus groups, Labor needs a plan to focus on delivering real support for Victorians.

“Daniel Andrews is keeping Victorians in the dark on the true state of the waiting list, and must commit to releasing the figures no more than three weeks after the end of the quarter.”

Local Government Minister must act on flawed contracts process

Revelations from today’s report from the Victorian Ombudsman that a senior member of Melton City Council IT staff was able to direct over $1 million worth of work to one of his own companies are deeply disturbing and must be immediately acted upon by Labor’s Minister for Local Government, Shaun Leane.

The individual concerned reportedly used other companies controlled by him to submit separate and more expensive quotations to give the impression that council requirements had been met.

The report exposes significant gaps in local government contract oversight process. The Ombudsman notes:

  • Several layers of contractual arrangements helped mask his associations.
  • As a contractor, the individual concerned did not receive the same induction as a permanent employee would have.
  • A lack of effective oversight.
  • A contract that was insufficiently specific about the actual work to be undertaken.
  • A lack of due diligence in tender and requirement processes.
  • Lax oversight permitted this person to manipulate Council processes for almost two years

The Ombudsman concludes that this person knowingly misused his position at the Council to obtain a significant private benefit of about $1.6 million.

Victorians deserve accountability and transparency from the Andrews Labor Government, not endless delays and cover-ups. Only a Liberal Nationals Government will deliver that.  

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Local Government, David Morris:

“In 2019-20, local councils spent $9.4 billion providing services and building infrastructure for their local communities. A big chunk of that $9.4 billion is provided by contractors through what this report clearly demonstrates is a flawed process.

“Why has the Minister for Local Government allowed a situation to develop where Councils are not required to demonstrate compliance with proper contract management practices, and what is he doing to fix it?”

Local council business fees and charges to be frozen under Liberal Nationals plan to boost support for small businesses

The Liberal Nationals today announced the third part of the Local Business Action Plan to make Victoria the small business capital of the nation, with a commitment to freeze selected fees levied on businesses by local councils for four years.

As part of the Liberal Nationals Local Business Action Plan, a number of local government fees will be frozen including footpath and road occupation fees, fees on hairdressers and beauty businesses, fees on food businesses, and fees on accommodation providers.

The full list of fees will be selected in consultation with small businesses, industry associations and local councils across the state.

An O’Brien Liberal Nationals Government will also prevent local councils from imposing new fees on small business without the express permission of the Minister for Local Government.

The policy sends the message that an O’Brien Liberal Nationals government will back local jobs, local business and local success.

With the $1,500 small business fee rebate policy providing a State government credit for local and state government fees, the fee freeze will ensure there is no inappropriate cost shifting between different levels of government.

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Small Business, Michael O’Brien:

“Small business is the lifeblood of our economy, but over the past six years, and especially during COVID lockdowns in 2020, the Andrews Labor Government’s mismanagement has smashed small businesses. Many will never recover.

“The Liberal Nationals’ Local Business Action Plan backs local business, local jobs and local success.

“Local communities need growing small businesses and councils must not look to hike fees on this vital sector.

“The time has come for governments to get off the back of small business, cut red tape and let small business get on with the work of growing our economy and creating jobs.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Local Government, David Morris:

“Many councils have done the right thing, and resisted the temptation to bolster their financial position by slugging local small businesses, but some have not.

“Small traders who survived the 2020 COVID lockdowns are hanging on by their fingertips, and increasing council charges put their survival at risk. They need support to stay in business, not more reasons to leave.

“Freezing the cost of fees levied on local businesses is a practical and effective way to deliver that support.”

Statement from the Shadow Minister for Housing

Funding the construction and maintenance of public and social housing is a core responsibility of the Victorian Government.

The suggestion from the Committee for Melbourne reported in The Age this morning that a levy should be imposed on Victorian homes and businesses is totally inappropriate.

However you describe it, a tax is a tax. Victorians are already paying more than enough taxes to appropriately fund public and social housing.

The fact that 49,644 households are stranded on public housing waiting lists is a direct consequence of the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to maintain our current housing stock, and to invest in new building.

The Victorian Liberal Nationals will not support another new tax on Victorian families and businesses.


Mornington MP David Morris has welcomed the decision by the Mornington Peninsula Shire to reject a plan to build a retirement village outside the Urban Growth Boundary at Mount Eliza. But Mr Morris has warned that the Shire’s decision is only the first step.

The Council report shows that the Mount Eliza and Mornington communities are overwhelmingly opposed to the development, with 1068 objections lodged, compared with only 33 letters of support. This level of opposition alone should be enough to stop the development in its tracks.

But, at the Council meeting, it was revealed that Ryman has submitted the project for consideration by the State Government’s Building Victoria Recovery Taskforce.

The Taskforce has been set up to bypass normal planning process and “fast track” applications. It answers directly to the Minister for Planning and the Treasurer, and the Minister for Planning alone is responsible for making decisions.

“The Ryman site is already the subject of a proposed rezoning to prevent further urban creep. Despite repeated requests from the Council and myself, the Planning Minister has refused to allow the amendment to protect this land to proceed.”

“The Minister has also rejected a request from me to “call-in” and refuse a permit for the development. He must not now allow Ryman to hide behind a health driven economic emergency to subvert proper planning process.”

“I have written to the Minister demanding he reject this attempt to bypass the planning system, and I will raise the issue in Parliament at the very first opportunity. In the meantime I urge every person opposed to this application to email the Minister insisting he not approve this application.”

The Minister’s email address is Richard.Wynne@Parliament.vic.gov.au

Mark ANZAC Day at home and ‘Light up the Dawn’

The Mornington community is encouraged to commemorate our servicemen and women from home this year.

All public ANZAC Day services have been cancelled this year as we all continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, but David Morris MP urged the community to still come together to reflect and remember.

“This year’s ANZAC Day is going to be like no other, with traditional services not proceeding and the opportunity to attend and pay respects at the local cenotaph not allowed,” Mr Morris said.

“However, while confined to our own homes, it simply means we can, and should, reflect in a different way.

“The RSL is encouraging Victorians to ‘Light up the Dawn’ for ANZAC Day, by standing in their driveways at 6am for a minute’s silence under the light of a candle, torch, or even a mobile phone.”

Mr Morris said this was a fitting way to recognise the sacrifices made by past service men and women and those who continue to serve our nation today.

“People can then choose to stay and reflect for a while, or tune into the live televised service from the Australian War Memorial that is proceeding without veterans or public in attendance,” Mr Morris said.

“Our communities are facing difficult times at present and in this situation we are facing, it is perhaps more pertinent that ever to give thought to the brave men and women who served, the challenges they faced and hardships they endured.”