Cameron Howe

Cameron Howe

Experts warn that your home could be next as termites take up residence across Kingston, yet we are no closer to the implementation of a termite policy.
Melbourne Polytechnic’s Entomologist, Dr Don Ewart is certain that the City of Kingston should be declared termite prone. “It’s crazy not to,” he said.
Although it is mandatory in other states for measures to be put in place during construction to mitigate termite damage, this is not the case in Victoria. “They are there, it’s obvious, and it’s only Victoria who has held out with their stupidity. We’ve known about this issue for decades, but local government are slow to react,” said Dr Ewart.
Termites prefer a damp, moist environment and thrive on dead plants, trees, and have adapted to housing too. Dr Ewart said that these characteristics were present within the City of Kingston, and that without adequate prevention during construction, termites could do tens of thousands of dollars of damage.
Exopest’s Operations Manager and local resident, Peter Ferguson said that, “there are plenty of incidents of termites in the City of Kingston and I am aware of several in my street alone.” Similarly, Action Pest Control’s Jaime Ackland believes that the pests are “prevalent” throughout the municipality.
In September, the Council ran an online survey, in which it sought to understand the location and timing of termite attacks, along with the types of building materials affected. According to the Council’s Planning and Development General Manager, Jonathan Guttmann, in March last year the decision was made to consult with the public, Real Estate Institute of Victoria and the construction industry, in relation to the issue of termites within the municipality.
However, residents and some Councillors are frustrated with the lack of progress. Former Kingston Mayor and resident, Lesley McGurgan, whose home has had termites, said that the Council had been aware of the issue for some years. The implementation of a policy is “taking too long” in her eyes and likewise, Councillor Tamsin Bearsley believes that the process has become arduous.

Four years ago, the club moved into its Learmonth Road, Patterson Lakes premises, before later securing a lease from the Council for the abutting 17.5-hectare site. This has been transformed into a national standard equestrian cross-country course.
According to President Mike Creed, clinics run at the club with international level instructors, have described the new course as being one of the best in Victoria. “Many say how awesome it is to have such a great facility so close to home,” he said.
“Over the years we have seen children who are very nervous, shy or insecure, develop into confident and connected people. This is thanks to the structured way that we work with them and their horses in discipline, persistence, communication and the need to get things right.”
However, Mentone Pony Club is now facing a challenge. They are currently in the process of talks to construct a bridge across a Melbourne Water drain that currently splits the club’s grounds in half. “Currently we need to supervise riders travelling between the two sites on a public road, that has a mixture of traffic from cars to road trains. We have been in discussions with Melbourne Water, but the bureaucracy is a major challenge in achieving an appropriate crossing,” Mr Creed said.
Mentone Pony Club caters to beginners and mentors them onto the international stage if this is their desire. In 2017, the club won the Horse Trials State Championship in Victoria. The club recently celebrated their 60th anniversary in February, where one of their riders, who recently competed in both Ireland and the United States, put on a demonstration amongst other activities.
The club has a vision to develop programs for riders with disabilities, fun days and trail rides. For further information, please see

Melbourne Cable Park has added new experiences on the water to the National Water Sports Centre precinct at Riverend Road. A liquid fantasy that aspires to become a tourist magnet is springing to life in Melbourne's southeast.

Attracting families far and wide, Melbourne Cable Park opened just 12-months ago to the public originally with its Aqua Fun Park, allowing participants to leap, bounce and slide or wipeout on the giant inflatable course.

Today it is now a hive of activity with the new wake-boarding cable park in full operation. Perfect for those without a boat, and catering to beginners through to keen enthusiasts, creating airborne magic thanks to the obstacle course!

More recently, the park’s high-ropes course aptly named Climb Melbourne opened as the result of a $600,000 State Government grant. The caters to a range of capabilities from 6-year-olds finding their inner Tarzan, to adult thrill-seekers looking for adventure. The 19-metre-tall course has sky-high challenges, from exploring the suspended rowing boat to hanging upside down, or taking in the panoramic views of the Dandenong Ranges and surrounds.

A spokesperson for the State Government stated that, “the Government is keen to see visitors experience the Greater Melbourne area and all that it has to offer. Attractions such as Melbourne Cable Park play an important role in encouraging visitors to the area, and to return again to try other distinct experiences in the broader Melbourne area.

Director Ian Clark said the feedback and interest from the community, families and corporate groups has been incredible. “It’s an all-weather, all audience activity centre,” he said.

Melbourne Cable Park was nominated for the major infrastructure category in the 2017 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards, with people with disabilities being one of the interest groups that the park intends to cater to. "Given we had only just opened when we were nominated, we were very humbled. Unfortunately we did not make the finalists, but hopefully we will be able to build upon our initial nomination next year.”

100,000 people will visit the park this year, with events including markets, food trucks and wake-boarding competitions further broadening the park’s appeal.

Mr Clark’s vision is for the precinct to become the “Albert Park of the southeast” by realising the full potential of this untapped resource. Improvements to accessibility and public transport are on the wish list ahead of the State Election.

Melbourne Cable Park is perfect for cooling of this summer and is located at 5 Riverend Road, Bangholme at the National Water Sports Centre.

A plan to preserve roadside vegetation for the shared pathway known as the Bay Trail, which abuts Beach Road, has seen the RACV and VicRoads form opposing positions in the face of community safety fears and controversy.

The $3.2 million-dollar proposal is to construct a path from Mentone Life Saving Club to Rennison Street, Parkdale. Eighty-two per cent of responses to a Council survey objected to the design that threatens to encroach on road space. However Councillors have forged ahead with the design that would narrow the width of lanes to 12.7 metres, down from an average of 14 metres in some sections on Beach Road. It is expected that there would also be a loss of over 100 car spaces when verge parking is considered.

Under the Road Management Act 2004, VicRoads is required to ensure that any proposals by another authority that affect an arterial road do not adversely impact access or safety. VicRoads’ Director for Metro South East, Aidan McGann stated that, “VicRoads has determined Kingston City Council’s functional layout design for the proposed Bay Trail meets the necessary safety and access requirements for a project proposal that affects an arterial road.” RACV’s Manager of Mobility

Advocacy, Dave Jones in a statement said that, “RACV agrees with there being an offroad path for recreational riders, but it shouldn’t be achieved by narrowing Beach Road.”

“RACV opposes the plan to narrow Beach Road, which will force riders and drivers closer together, when a safety campaign is underway about the need for drivers to give riders more room. A more sensible solution is to continue the recently built path further south from Mentone Life Saving Club to Mordialloc, providing indented parking where it is necessary and two traffic lanes,” Mr Jones said. Whilst the two largest bodies representing motorists have locked horns, so has the community with Councillors. Councillors Brownlees, Gledhill, Hua and Bearsley oppose the current design, forming the minority, and just like Parliament, the two cohorts sit on opposing sides of the room.

Environmental activist and Councillor, Rosemary West cements the majority voting bloc’s ability to pass motions, including the contentious Bay Trail design. West has previously stated that the plan would prioritise the preservation of coastal vegetation and has said that the loss of parking is negligible. “The plan will save as much as possible of the one hectare of coastal vegetation,” she said in a Facebook post.

In contrast, the 5,000 signatories of a petition rejecting the design believe that every centimetre counts when it comes to drawing vehicles and cyclists closer together. The Amy Gillett Foundation, with a mission to reduce cyclist road trauma, has been actively campaigning for vehicles to remain a metre away from cyclists, something that campaigners argue is problematic as it is. Locals are also concerned that residential streets would potentially cater to parking losses resulting from the design.

Campaigner Robyn Nolan said that, “The communication has not been transparent, and when there has been consultation, Councillors have pushed their own agenda.”

According to Mr McGann, VicRoads did advise the City of Kingston of the community sensitivities around the project and has recommended that they undertake further consultation. However, at a December Council meeting, Mayor Staikos stated that he had requested the planning meeting with objectors to be held on January 11, which resulted in the decision being criticised by fellow Councillors for being held at a time when the community would be disengaged.

Councillors Geoff Gledhill and Ron Brownlees have signed statutory declarations claiming that in a conversation, the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan stated that he would not “go against the wishes of 82 per cent of the community” who objected to the design. Earlier last year Mordialloc MP Tim Richardson asked Mr Donnellan to halt the plan in response to community feedback, however he and Mr Donnellan have more recently been silent on the issue. The offices of Luke Donnellan and Tim Richardson did not respond to questions to clarify their position despite indicating that they would.

Campaigners are expected to challenge the decision legally if all other options are exhausted. “The community are definately not going away on this issue,” Mrs Nolan said. Meanwhile the RACV also continues to maintain its stance in opposition to the current plans.

The application for the project’s planning permit was approved at a Council meeting on January 24 and the project is expected to now proceed to the detailed design stage.

Web Page M6 Breast cancer 1


Surviving Breast Cancer: Flowers on the Water

Reclaiming their health and finding strength in one another, breast cancer survivors will soon be beating the dragon in numbers at Patterson River, with each stroke of the paddle.

Pink Lotus, a group belonging to Dragons Abreast Australia, will soon take to Patterson River in their twelve metre dragon boat, which they will be renting from their Ballarat counterpart.

Breast Cancer Australia recognises that many of their members enjoy dragon boating not just for the beneficial exercise, but for the opportunity to meet other breast cancer survivors and share their stories.

Dragons Abreast Australia is a part of an international movement, that provides a positive physical outlet for breast cancer survivors, and according to researcher Dr Don McKenzie helps to reduce lymphedema.

Lymphedema is a collection of fluid in the arms and legs resulting in chronic swelling. According to Breast Cancer Australia, “gentle, regular exercise greatly assists in the treatment of lymphedema. Muscle movement in the chest and arm area increases lymph flow and reduces the risk of fluid accumulating.”

For the small but growing group, the name Pink Lotus is a symbol of the beauty that arises from the lotus that is often rooted in muddy water. “As breast cancer survivors, we can directly relate to coming from a dark terrible place,” said Vice President Linda Papworth. “We are flowers that live on the water,” she said.

Pink Lotus offer a supportive environment, inclusive of all capabilities, and intend to train each Sunday at Patterson River. The dragon boat festival in Florence next year is a big focus for the group, which members will attend along with over one hundred teams from around the world.

For those touched by the ‘breast cancer dragon’, the experience of hitting the water is therapeutic and empowering. “There is strength in knowing that you are not alone and that others completely understand what it is you are going through,” said Ms Papworth.

“Once we are out on the water, you can forget about your troubles of the week, and just paddle. It's quite meditative listening to the drum.”

Touch base with Julie on 0403963264 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.


Web Page M6 Breast cancer 2











The motion of the ocean and the sound of crashing waves; welcome to Carrum Beach, a few moments walk from two foodie delights offering sweet and savoury food against ambient settings.

On Station St in Carrum is the charismatic Freddie’s. Owner Farid ‘Freddie’ Mansour describes the cafe as a ‘second home’ for residents who frequent the venue for their morning coffee and chat. The rustic themed venue is warm and inviting, with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner there is something on the menu for everyone from bruschetta served with poached eggs and crispy bacon to their gourmet pizzas. The onsite deli has a range of meats, artisan bread and cheeses to choose from, plus catering is also offered.

Meanwhile Cafe Moto, aptly named after its motorcycle theme, is drawing in hordes of enthusiastic customers to soak up the atmosphere at its fortnightly Food Truck Sundays. So, I asked owner Peter Jones what all the fuss is about? According to Peter, it’s “an eclectic and ever-changing mix of food trucks parked in our huge car park, cool live jazz wafting through the air intermingled with children laughing and friends and neighbours connecting.”

Hundreds fill the rear of the Nepean Highway venue dotted with hot fire pits and large bench seats. The all-weather event is entry via a gold-coin donation and worth a visit.

never too young bowel cancer
22-year-old Callum Dodson who is fighting a rare form of bowel cancer wants to deliver an important message, that you’re never too young.

The fit, healthy and keen footballer from Chelsea Heights began to feel ill and lethargic before getting blood tests completed in April, which uncovered low iron and haemoglobin levels that were causing anaemia and extreme exhaustion. Callum’s diagnosis is an aggressive malignant neoplasm present in the bowel known as Clear Cell Sarcoma.

Many of Callum’s peers are surprised at the diagnosis, but one thing is for sure is that this disease doesn’t discriminate and according to Bowel Cancer Australia “every year over 1,300 Australians under the age of 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer.”

Callum wants to address the misconception that the disease only affects the older generation, and his message is that “you are never to be young to be diagnosed with bowel cancer.”

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a recent study that found that since 1990, colon cancers had surged 17 per cent, and rectal cancers had increased by 29 per cent amongst young adults. Causes of the alarming increase remain clouded, however Bowel Cancer Australia says that specialists agree, that symptoms awareness is critical to improve early detection. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, persistent changes in bowel habits, blood in the bowel movement or rectal bleeding and unexplained tiredness or weight loss. Colorectal Surgeon Professor Graham Newstead states that, “patients need to know their own bodies and recognise when something is not normal.”

Ambassador for Bowel Cancer Australia Donna Bauer who faced a relentless workload at the time of diagnosis, at age 43, as a state MP and mother of four, has offered support to Callum and anyone facing the debilitating disease. “Cancer affects us all, I’m sure that there is no-one that hasn’t had a family member, a friend, or even themselves impacted by cancer.”

Callum is focused, looking forward to returning to football and described being diagnosed as “life-changing.” His advice is to please get checked because “this was something that I wasn’t expecting at my age and it can happen to anyone at any time.”

In June the duo participated in Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to raise the profile of the disease responsible for claiming the lives of 80 Australians each week.

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