26 January 2016


Cr Fraser – Thank you all for joining us here on this Nepean Peninsula on this outstanding one day of the year so that we can celebrate Australia Day here on this magnificent land – here at the Sorrento Bowls Club and later this afternoon on the magnificent Rye foreshore.

On this occasion over the last three years I have made some introductory comments by way of welcome about our wonderful sense of place – first spoken about  by our own distinguished  Australian and former Governor General, Sir Paul Hasluck, who said on this day 45 years ago:

“Patriotism is the love of one’s own country. All of us, in our different ways and in our different experience, have a love for Australia because it is our land; it is where we live, where we have our family and friends, where our work lies, and where our hopes are fixed. We love our land and think it a good place”

In the same vein, may I say by way of welcome to country:

“The Mornington Peninsula Shire acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first Australians and recognises that they have a unique relationship with the land and water. The Shire also recognises the Mornington Peninsula is home to the Boonwurrung/Bunurong, members of the Kulin Nation, who have lived here for thousands of years and who have traditional connections and responsibilities to the land on which we meet.”


I have spoken about our special sense of place – our place of public assets and Crown lands for our common use – at Point Nepean, at Arthurs Seat, on the Rosebud foreshore and now, the Rye landfill. We should hasten very cautiously in the private use of public places, lament our despoiled natural environment with degraded and sandbagged beaches at Rosebud and Portsea and our rubbish dumped near our precious Tootgarook wetlands and places where we live and work. These are poor decisions by those previously in authority above us and have taken away what we once shared and could have shared with the Boonwurrung/Bunurong peoples.


At Point Nepean the State Government and Parks Victoria are yet again consulting with the community over the future use of Point Nepean on Saturday 6 February at the Quarantine Station.


And tomorrow at 7.00pm the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council will decide the fate of the Rye tip which emits 48% of the Shire’s greenhouse gasses. The Shire is committed to carbon neutrality. Are we to close the tip to landfill in 2018 and reduce our Shire greenhouse gas emissions or pass this degraded and poisoned inheritance on to our children? I encourage you to express your views on these matters.

So, on this Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what is great about Australia and being Australian and what we can do to make it better. It is the day to reflect on what we have achieved, at the cost of what we have done, and as to what we can be proud of in our great nation. It is the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.

On behalf of the Mornington Peninsula Shire, I would like to thank our local communities of Blairgowrie, Portsea, Rye and Sorrento, the Australia Day Committees, and our major sponsors the Bendigo Bank, Cleanaway, Downer, Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield), South East Water and RPP FM for their valued contribution to our celebration of Australia Day.


May I wish you all a very happy Australia Day as we now proceed to raise the Australian Flag and to the sing our National Anthem.