Hastings port: Lives on hold over plan

HUNDREDS of Lyndhurst and Cranbourne South home owners could find themselves in limbo — unable to sell or move — until the state government finalises plans for the Port of Hastings.
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The state government last month allocated $110 million over the next four years for design and planning for port and transport connections, including a rail freight link along the Western Port Highway.

Slater & Gordon solicitor Ben Hardwick told the Weekly residents could wait 10 or more years for their properties to be compulsorily acquired or for the government to dump the port plan. Adding to the uncertainty is the ALP’s opposition to the port development. Although the Hastings plan was developed under the former Labor government, the ALP now favours a Bay West option near Avalon.

Mr Hardwick said government announcements about long-term infrastructure created a lot of uncertainty. “Unfortunately, compulsory acquisition rights are only triggered when the government formally reserves land required for roads or rail.

“It’s difficult for governments because they need to reserve land for infrastructure projects but they don’t want to go too early.

“But it causes real problems for those in proximity to those corridors.”

Mr Hardwick, who acted for residents of the western suburbs affected by the Regional Rail Link, said Casey residents should press the government to decide “sooner rather than later”.

They should also be lobbying their MPs to close gaps in laws covering compulsory acquisition, he said.

Issue also arose for those living next to any compulsory acquisitions who had no rights to compensation for the loss in value of their properties.

“People who could be affected by this really should be lobbying now to get the law changed so it can be resolved as the project proceeds.”

What do you think? Post a comment below.

Painting from a sociable palette

IMAGINE moving to a country where one of your favourite things didn’t exist. That’s what American artist Melinda Janiszewski found when researching her move to Australia, so she opened a business: a trendy, socialising art studio in Ascot Vale.
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Fun with paint: Melinda has combined her passions for art and socialising.

Cocktails and Canvas, and Cupcakes n Canvas — one place for adults, the other for children — were born in March this year to provide a place to be creative and have fun with like-minded people.

“Painting and art have always been amazing outlets to express myself and a great form of therapy to relax and unwind,” Melinda says. “So I opened my business to give Aussies the first socialising art studio of its kind in the country.

“No painting experience is required. Our instructor walks each class through the same artwork, from start to finish in our two to three-hour sessions where we encourage everyone to leave their inhibitions at the door.”

Artists need only bring along their favourite wine or other tipple to sip on while painting — and don’t forget some nibbles to share.

Aside from the fun-filled adult art sessions, kids aged 7 to 15 can let their creativity run wild and explore the world of paint at Cupcakes n Canvas classes. “We encourage them to use their imagination, to discover a unique style.”

The business also caters to girls’ nights out, date and hens’ nights, private parties, team building, fundraisers, kids’ parties, mother-daughter or father-daughter days, and more.

Cocktails and Canvas, and Cupcakes n Canvas, at 544 Mount Alexander Road, Ascot Vale, open 6.30-10pm Wednesdays-Sundays; and 1-4pm Wednesday and Sundays. Inquiries: 93709959 or cocktailsandcanvas南京夜网.au

International softball action continues in Ormiston 

The Redlands RSL Southern Cross Challenge continues until Sundayat The Softball Centre – Redlands, home of Redlands Softball Association.
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An initiative ofSoftball Queensland and Canterbury Softball Association in Christchurch, NewZea-land, the premier international men’s and women’s softball tournament ishosted by the two organisations in alternate years, providing internationalsoftball opportunities for athletes from Australia and New Zealand.

For further information, visit the Softball Queenslandwebsite at www.qld.softball南京夜网.au or email Nicki Riley [email protected]

Alan Minifie caught some of the early action.

Alan Minifie caught some of the early action.

Alan Minifie caught some of the early action.

Alan Minifie caught some of the early action.

Alan Minifie caught some of the early action.

Alan Minifie caught some of the early action.

Alan Minifie caught some of the early action.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Thumbs down for truancy fine plan

SCEPTICAL Casey residents have given state Education Minister Martin Dixon a D-minus for his plan to fine parents of truant children.
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State parliament is considering a bill that would make parents liable for a $70 fine if their child is absent for five days in a year without a reasonable excuse.

When the Weekly asked shoppers at Centro in Cranbourne their views, several pointed out that parents had limited control once their children reached adolescence.

Elijah Bruzzesi said he was sceptical of the government’s motives. “They would catch a few parents and make an example of them. I think a lot of politicians are scrambling to find easy answers.”

Edie Paterson thought fining parents would only create more family problems without reducing truancy and 17-year-old friends Sharmaine Carey and Shae Kelsen described it as a stupid plan.

Sharmaine, who regularly wagged school, said fining parents would just make them angry and Shae said: “They’ll just end up taking their kids out of school. I didn’t go to school for two-three months. I went back to school — I’d turned my life around — and they’d unenrolled me. TAFE was way better than school.”

Fred Wellzen said creating the right environment so children wanted to go to school was a more practical solution than punishing parents.

He recalled a period when he was unhappy at a new school and wagged for about six weeks. “I got a walloping from my father when he found out. Eventually, I settled in and went back to school.”

Julie Hartnett was the only one who thought the plan might work, although she admitted she had done her share of wagging as a child.

Her friend Amy Vaughan recalled doing the same but said wagging wasn’t such a big deal in her day because the streets were safer and there was less kidnapping.

Victorian Education Union state secretary Meredith Peace said the plan would unfairly target already vulnerable families.

What do you think? Post a comment below.

Burning questions over street lighting answered

RATEPAYERS have been assured they will not foot the bill for street lighting left running throughout the day, Dubbo City Council manager civil infrastructure Steven Clayton says.
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His assurances come amid complaints from residents about seeing lights on at the Macquarie Street and Wingewarra Street corner over several days. One resident asked the Daily?Liberal whether ratepayers would foot the bill for the extra use of power.

However, Mr Clayton insists ratepayers would not be handed down the cost and that the operation of street lighting was managed by Essential Energy and charged to the council on an annual basis with pre-determined hours of operation for that period.

“As such, council is not subject to additional charges if lights are on during daylight hours,” he said.

Mr Clayton said council’s street lighting budget is funded with rate revenue, however, it is subsidised with money from the state government for the operation of highway lights.

The council encourages energy efficiency and recorded significant savings in recent years, Mr Clayton said.

“For example, a 14 per cent decrease in energy consumption across council’s buildings, businesses and facilities in 2010/11 resulted in savings of up to $200,000,” he said. “The reduction can be attributed to the installation of solar system technology and implementation of other energy efficiency initiatives, which continue to result in savings.”

Essential Energy regional general manager Matt Patterson said streetlights were essential for community security and safety but without the community’s help they could not be kept operating at the optimum level.

“Unfortunately people are not reporting faulty streetlights, which often means they are faulty for longer than they need to be,” he said.

Blown lamps are often to blame for faulty street lighting, however, spider webs have been known to black out light sensors, which could be the reason why some lights failed to switch off in daylight hours.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Talbragar’s new roundabout ahead of schedule

A DRY autumn to date has helped speed up progress on the Talbragar Street roundabout redevelopment.
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Dubbo City Council manager civil infrastructure Stephen Clayton said he was proud to be ahead of schedule, with work on stage two already under way.

“We’ve made a really good start,” he said.

“We factored in rain delays but the dry weather has been ideal for us.”

Stage two of the redevelopment will see the installation of stormwater pipes and pits, construction of two of the roundabout kerb blisters, road and some footpath works on the southern side of the Brisbane and Talbragar streets intersection.

Mr Clayton said motorists looking for parking should think ahead as many usual spots in front of Snare’s Newsagency and the Castlereagh Hotel would be temporarily lost.

A cul de sac arrangement would be in place to ensure traffic and pedestrians can still access businesses in the area.

Mr Clayton admitted some businesses were not happy with the construction works but promised the beautification of the street would make a real difference to their trade.

“Talbragar Street has always sold itself as a sunny street so with the wide footpath and street furniture people can make the most of it,” he said.

Mr Clayton said retailers had been keep abreast throughout the work and that motorists had not yet complained about the intrusion. Stage two could be finished early or mid-July.

The revamped Talbragar Street roundabout is slated for completion in September.

The Talbragar Street roundabout redevelopment is ahead of schedule. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

What’s on around Monash

Environmental acts: Friends of Scotchmans Creek and Valley Reserve speaker’s forum is at 7.30pm on May 16 at Alvie Hall, Mount Waverley (corner High Street and Alvie Roads). Hear Nicholas Croggon, a lawyer from the Environment Defenders Office, on the 25th anniversary of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. Details: Ted Mason 9802 3481 or [email protected]南京夜网.au.
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Fleet feet: Enjoy fitness walking with other locals at the Waverley Community Learning Centre, 5 Fleet Street, Mount Waverley, Monday and/or Wednesdays throughout the year from April 15. The group leaves from local parks for walks of about one hour. New people can join at any time throughout the year. Cost: $10. Bookings essential on 9807 6011 or email [email protected]南京夜网.au

Gentle exercise: Tai chi and chi kung classes held 9am Saturday at Valley Reserve, Mount Waverley. Details: 9700 0547.

Help on wheels: The Monash Volunteer Resource Centre needs volunteers for its Meals on Wheels program, to help elderly and disabled people stay in their homes as long as possible. Locals need to have three mornings a week or fortnight free and a current driver’s licence. Details: 9562 0414.

Membership available: The Combined Probus Club of Waverley Gardens meets at the Vegas Club, Waverley Gardens shopping centre, 9.45am on the last Tuesday each month. Details: Rick, 9801 4049 or Noela 9560 2528.

AA help: Alcoholics Anonymous meets 7.30pm every Wednesday at Kerrie Road Neighbourhood House in Glen Waverley. Details: 1300 222 222.

Public speaking: Waverley Communicators holds classes every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the Mount Waverley Community Centre. Details: Heather, 9576 8790, or Hazel, 9578 1947.

Local lessons: Pilates classes on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings in the Uniting Church Hall, 482 High Street Road, Mount Waverley, and Tuesday evenings at Parkhill Primary School hall, Ashwood. Details: karenspilates南京夜网 or 9807 0429.

Monash dogfight: Legal fees bite in protracted battle

Appealing: Dog owner Jade Applebee with a picture of her pet, Kerser. Picture: Rob CarewMONASH ratepayers are facing the possibility of another $100,000 Supreme Court battle over the classification of a pit bull terrier.
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Jade Applebee, of Mount Waverley, is preparing to appeal against a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision that backed the council’s finding that her dog, Kerser, is a pit bull.

Her last-ditch attempt is expected to cost her and the council thousands of dollars.

Monash mayor Micaela Drieberg said that appeals can only be made on the grounds that there was an error in law.

“We haven’t received the paperwork yet so we don’t know what the suggested error is,” Cr Drieberg said.

The case is unlikely to be heard for several months until after a directions hearing.

This will be the second case Monash Council has fought in the Supreme Court under the state’s dangerous-dog law.

The first, against David Dudas and his dog, Rapta, resulted in a $100,000 legal bill after the council lost the case. Cr Drieberg said the council was trying to recover the costs of the Dudas case through the Appeals Cost Board.

“We’re very keen for the government to change the legislation so councils don’t have to carry so much legal responsibility,” she said.

“We’re willing to play a role in protecting the community, but we need more support.”

Under changes to Victoria’s dangerous-dog legislation, councils have the power to seize unregistered, restricted breed dogs and destroy them if they are found to match the standard characteristics of the breed.

In December last year, Ms Applebee’s dog was seized by the council after it was found in a neighbour’s backyard. Ms Applebee, who maintains her unregistered dog is an American Staffordshire terrier cross, rejected the council’s finding and sought to overturn it at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

After a two-day hearing, which included a physical inspection of the dog at the RSPCA in Burwood, VCAT deputy president Heather Lambrick upheld the council’s decision.

“The overall impression of Kerser is one of compliance. He may not be a perfect example of a pit bull. However, such a dog probably does not exist,” Ms Lambrick said.

“Even in the areas where he does not meet the standard to a substantial degree, he meets the standard to some degree and importantly in the areas of musculature and strength.”