Ansett Land – sale welcome but what’s the next step

I welcome the news that sale of the Ansett land has now concluded, and that an investor with existing local interests of is apparently the purchaser.

The sale will assist the Ansett Trust to continue the good work they do for children and young people across the Mornington Peninsula.

We still don’t know the who has bought the land, so we can’t guess what the next steps may be.   It is encouraging however, that the Trust has said that the purchaser is someone with “a great understanding of the significance of this parcel of land”.

The initial approach taken by the Trust’s consultants (EY) was very different, suggesting that this was a land bank, that had potential for redevelopment for commercial, hospitality, healthcare or education, of course with the usual disclaimer “subject to approval”. I welcome the change of heart.

Approval for changes to the urban boundary would have to come from the Parliament, and while it is possible, the chances of a successful application are probably less than I in 100, if not I in 1000.

I call on the Minister for Planning, and the Premier, to join me in a commitment to oppose any move to weaken current controls or to allow quasi-urban residential development.

The green break between Mount Eliza and Mornington is defined by long-standing urban boundaries, and this land is a very important part of it. Any development of the land must protect the existing landscape and be fully consistent with the existing Green Wedge zoning.

The future of the Peninsula depends on it.

Presumptive Rights for Firefighters

The Liberal Nationals will fast track Presumptive Rights legislation by introducing a Private Members Bill to ensure all career and volunteer firefighters will have equal access to cancer compensation.

On 28 October 2015, the Liberal National Coalition signed a pledge to commit to presumptive rights for all Victorian firefighters.

But despite this bipartisan support, Daniel Andrews cynically bundled presumptive rights with his legislation to break up the CFA. Daniel Andrews did this knowing he did not have the numbers to pass his legislation and knowing this would likely delay access to compensation for firefighters with cancer.

We promised Victorians and the 60,000 CFA volunteers who protect us, that we would oppose this legislation and stand up for the CFA.

It’s time for Daniel Andrews to stop playing fast and loose with the health of firefighters and support a bipartisan approach.   

Each and every day, our CFA volunteers leave their families to fight fires, saves lives and keep us safe.

The Liberal Nationals will protect those who protect us.

Victorian Breast Screen Participation Numbers at 54%, can Mornington Beat the Average?

Mornington MP David Morris is encouraging local women to get regular breast screens. Regular breast screens are an essential component of a woman’s well-being over the age of 50, and Mr Morris is taking up the challenge to encourage more women in the community to take up Breast Screen Victoria’s free program.

The latest Breast Screen Victoria participation statistics for women in Mornington reveal that 54% aged 50-74 had a mammogram between July 2014 and June 2016. This reflects the Victorian state average of 54%.

“I’m calling on local women to prioritise a breast screen every two years, along with other important routine health checks.”

“This result tells us that 4934 women in the Mornington Electorate did not have a breast screen in the two years to the end of June 2016. I hope we see this number drop as more women prioritise their health,” Mr Morris said.

Seventy-five percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will be over the age of 50, the vast majority of whom will have no family history of the disease. Breast Screen Victoria targets women aged 50-74 with early detection giving women the best chance of successful treatment and recovery.

Appointments at the Breast Screen Victoria clinic at 39 Playne Street, Frankston can be made online at or by calling 13 20 50.

Mount Eliza Green Wedge

The Mount Eliza Green Wedge is once again under threat.

Proposals have been recently invited for 22.3 Ha of land on the corner of Kunyung Road and Albatross Ave, Mount Eliza. Material prepared by Ernst and Young Real Estate describes the property as ”…one of the last available green-wedge land bank sites on the Mornington Peninsula…” and as having “Potential for redevelopment and incorporation of a range of uses, including commercial, leisure, hospitality, healthcare, education and a cliff top dwelling/s (subject to approval).

Statement from the Shadow Minister for Local Government

I am very pleased to add the job of Shadow Minister for Local Government to my responsibilities.

I have served in local government and know better than most its strengths and weaknesses. 

At its best, local government builds a sense of community and provides basic but important services and does them well.  At its worst, local government is a magnet for empire builders who think they’ve been elected to the United Nations.

I believe if local government councillors want to play with federal political issues they should run for Federal Parliament and leave community issues to those that are genuinely passionate about their community.

I look forward to working with Matthew Guy who as Leader of the Opposition has also taken on the important job of Shadow Minister for Population. 

We are working on a plan to manage Victoria’s population growth of over 100,000 people every year.  It’s a plan that will grow jobs around the state, including an ambitious construction and infrastructure program that will improve the connectivity between cities and towns to help decentralise our population. 

Local government has an exciting and important role to play in decentralising Victoria’s population.

A Zero Tolerance Approach to all Crimes

We need to send a strong message of zero tolerance on crime in Mornington.

The policy of treating fuel drive-offs as a civil rather than criminal matter hasn’t worked.

Fuel retailers have reported an increase in drive-offs and other associated criminal behaviours. Across Australia, fuel theft costs retailers $60 million per annum.

Further, fuel drive-offs can sometimes also be associated with attacks on retail staff and theft of other retail products, putting employees, customers and business owners at personal risk.

Recently, more and more crimes aren’t being treated as crimes – from low level drug taking to tap and go fraud, to treating fuel drive offs as a civil, rather than a criminal offence and prisoners having their fines wiped.

In response to this increase in fuel drive-offs, the fuel retail industry has invested tens of millions of dollars in better surveillance, security and crime prevention but it’s now time for this investment to be backed by the police and justice system.

A Guy Government will by 1 July 2019:

  • Work with Victoria Police so that all fuel drive-offs with non-innocent, criminal intent will be treated as criminal theft offences and not as civil matters. If required, legislation will be introduced to mandate that fuel theft is treated as a criminal offence.
  • Work with Victoria Police to recommit to the presumption that all fuel drive-offs are initially investigated as criminal offences.
  • A ‘zero-tolerance’ investigatory and enforcement regime to be established, the treatment of fuel drive-offs as civil matters has absolutely no deterrent effect on would be or recidivist offenders. Allowing fuel drive-off offenders to get away with theft can lead to an escalation in the seriousness of offender behaviour.
  • A Victoria Police centrally administered fuel drive-off/theft online reporting system to be developed and introduced. This will ensure an improved assessment and investigatory process for alleged offences, as reported by fuel retailers, modelled on the fuel drive-offs central reporting process introduced by NSW Police in 2013.
  • Introduction of a new specific Victoria offence code, to the Crimes Act 1958 offence of theft, detailing ‘fuel drive-off’, by Victoria Police in consultation with the Crime Statistics Agency, which will improve data integrity and investigatory efforts in identifying offenders and patterns of offence behaviour.
  • The establishment of an improved information sharing interface system or virtual ‘stolen plate clearing house’ between Victoria Police and VicRoads to quickly identify stolen numberplates in a more timely and efficient manner thereby leading to earlier detection of offending plates and assist in mitigating fuel drive-off offences.
  • Work with industry to continue to implement improved security and video surveillance measures, including technology for the recognition of stolen plates, unregistered and stolen vehicles, to assist retailers in mitigating offending in the first instance as well as improving investigatory outcomes in the identification of offenders and proving criminal intent.
  • The establishment of a taskforce to oversee the implementation and ongoing effectiveness of these reforms, co-chaired by the Police Minister and the Small Business Minister and to include the Chief Commissioner or their representative, the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores and other representatives of industry as required.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

I want a safer Victoria and that means adopting a zero tolerance approach to crime.

Victorians who do the right thing and live by the law have had enough of excuses from criminals.

Victorians will have a choice at the next election of more of the same on law and order from Daniel Andrews or real change and a tougher approach from a Liberal Nationals Government I lead.

Comments attributable to Member for Mornington, David Morris MP:

Local fuel retailers have been telling me they need this policy to help stem the financial losses their small businesses are facing.

That’s why we are sending a loud message that we won’t make excuses for people who break laws by stealing.

Comments attributable to Jeff Rogut, CEO Australasian Association of Convenience Stores Ltd:

Fuel drive offs in Victoria have escalated alarmingly in recent years adding cost pressures for businesses and consumers and alike.

I welcome the policy of the Liberal Nationals Coalition which is the most comprehensive response to fuel drive offs of any Australian jurisdiction.

VicHealth Active Club Grants

Member for Mornington David Morris MP has welcomed grants from VicHealth for the Mornington Junior Football Club and the Mount Eliza Bowling Club. These local clubs will receive a share in more than $500,000 in funding as part of the latest round of health promotion foundation VicHealth’s Active Club Grants, an initiative to encourage more Victorians to get physically active.

These grants will lead to the establishment of a Junior Female Football Team within the Mornington Junior Football Club for 8-12 years old girls. This team would be competing in the Frankston and District Junior Football League. The Mount Eliza Bowling Club will use the grant to re-establish a ‘Community Bowls Challenge’, a six week night competition in summer for non bowlers, utilising modified rules and scoring systems and allowing teams to vary in size and participants each week.

“The combined total of the grants, $5,096, will allow these clubs to deliver a wider range of opportunities for all members of the community to get active, regardless of ability” Mr Morris said.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said “the grants will help more Mornington residents to make physical activity part of their day-to-day life.”

Each financial year there are two opportunities for eligible clubs to apply for an Active Club Grant. The next round of applications opens Monday 21 August 2017 and closes Friday 22 September 2017.

“I encourage all local sporting clubs to apply for the grant” Mr Morris said.

Morris Fights for the Safety of Balcombe Grammar School Students

Mornington MP David Morris has called on the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan MP, to implement a school zone outside Balcombe Grammar School. The school is situated on a busy state arterial road, Nepean Highway, an 80-kilometer-an-hour zone. This school zone is vital for the safety of drivers, parents and students.

“No reduction for speed is afforded to Balcombe Grammar School even though it is situated on the same highway as Peninsula Grammar and Mornington Secondary College. Why are the students of Balcombe Grammar not afforded the same degree of protection?”

In February 2017, Morris wrote to VicRoads Regional Manager to express his concern, only to have the correspondence intercepted by the minister’s office.

“The overwhelming majority of cars that enter and leave the school travel on Nepean Highway. The buses that serve the school do so from Nepean Highway. To suggest that this school is remote from an increasingly busy state arterial road is nothing more than semantic nonsense.”

“In his response, the minister falsely claimed that Balcombe Grammar School is remote from Nepean Highway and the risk of an incident occurring is low” Mr. Morris said.

“Minister Donnellan must act before the lives of Balcombe Grammar School students are needlessly lost through petty politics.”

Morris rejects VicRoads grab for cash

Mornington MP David Morris has called on Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan MP, to facilitate a low value, non commercial lease of VicRoads land on the corner of Canadian Bay Road and Nepean Highway, Mount Eliza.

Speaking in Parliament recently, Mr Morris called on Minister Donnellan to provide approval as the land holding minister to ensure the safety of drivers and particularly of young students.

“There has been a longstanding issue with parking in Mount Eliza, for Mount Eliza Primary School but also the Peninsula School, which is adjacent, Mount Eliza Secondary College and to a lesser extent St Thomas More Primary School.”

“During the last federal election, Member for Dunkley Chris Crewther committed $280,000 to improve the much needed car parking in Mount Eliza. This included upgrading the existing gravel car park at the corner of Canadian Bay Road and Nepean Highway, providing additional spaces and a safe pick up area. VicRoads proposition of a commercial lease of $21,746 a year for occupancy is unfair and unsustainable.”

“Improving this car park is vital for the safety of drivers, parents and students of the schools in Mount Eliza which urgently require more safe parking spaces.”

“Since the development of the Peninsula Link, passing traffic at the local schools has increased dramatically, in turn making drop off and pick up increasingly more dangerous. The landholding minister has the authority to lease the property on the basis of the peppercorn price; the Minister must do so for the safety of the Mount Eliza community.”

Peninsula Faces Energy Crisis

This week the Hazelwood Power Station will shutdown in the Latrobe Valley due to policy decisions by the Andrews Labor Government. Hazelwood represents 22 per cent of Victoria’s power generation and 1000 jobs, providing affordable and reliable power to homes and businesses.

The Andrews Government has tripled the tax on coal and introduced a state-based
Renewable Energy Target of 40% by 2025, forcing the closure of Hazelwood. As a
result of this decision, St Vincent De Paul Society estimates Victorians are facing
$300 extra on the average annual household energy bill.

Under Daniel Andrews, Victoria is copying South Australia’s energy policies which
have resulted in blackouts and the highest power prices in the country. Victorians
now face 72 days of power shortfall in the next two years according to the Australian
Energy Market Operator, putting the State’s power security in jeopardy and more
pressure on prices.

The Victorian Coalition has called for the Andrews Government to intervene and fight
for a staged closure over years as it is the most responsible outcome for the Latrobe
Valley and Victoria. This would allow time for the Latrobe Valley workforce to
transition and Victoria’s energy network to adjust while maintaining reliability,
security and affordability. However, Daniel Andrews seems more concerned about
meeting costly green targets than he is with people’s livelihoods.

The Leader of Opposition, Matthew Guy has announced that a Liberal Nationals
Government will scrap the Victorian Renewable Energy Target so Victorians don’t
have repeated blackouts and higher electricity prices.

“Under Daniel Andrews Hazelwood is powering down and electricity bills are
powering up.”

“Unless we act, Victoria is bound to have regular South Australian-style blackouts
and higher power prices because of Daniel Andrews’ reckless policies.”

“Victoria needs a Premier to fight for the best interests of Victorians, not allow crime
to soar, youth justice centres to be overrun, CFA volunteers to be shafted and power
prices to surge because of reckless ideology.”