Author: Stephen Taylor

LAWS to protect wildlife from getting caught up in backyard fruit tree netting came into effect on 1 September. The new regulations are “well overdue and would save native animals’ lives”, Wildlife Victoria CEO Lisa Palma said. The new regulations require the mesh size of tree netting, either used or sold, to be 5mm by 5mm or less at full stretch. They apply specifically to households – not commercial growers who are already compliant. The penalty for using fruit netting that does not fit the specification will be $3303 or $660 for advertising or offering it for sale for household…

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AGRICULTURE Victoria is warning that more cases of pet-food poisoning – which killed two dogs at a Mornington Peninsula pet hospital in the past month – may reappear in coming weeks. The two dogs were among six taken by distressed owners to the Peninsula Vet Emergency Hospital with lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting and jaundice consistent with liver disease. The cases occurred from mid-July to mid-August. Testing found the toxin indospicine in the blood and liver of the sick dogs and in pet meat samples. The naturally occurring contaminant is found in the indigofera plant from the Northern Territory. Dogs…

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THE wonders of the natural world were the focus at Flinders last week when environmentalist Sir David Attenborough stepped in to bat for Victoria’s marine emblem: the weedy sea dragon. The legendary eco-warrior joined members of the Flinders Community Association in their quest to save the threatened 180-metre section of the old timber pier whose demolition, the locals fear, will threaten the endangered creature’s survival (“Heritage pier faces partial demolition” The Times 23/3/21). Reportedly more than 15,000 people have signed an online petition urging the state government to repair the Western Port pier’s damaged piles, with the support of a…

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OVER the next six weeks, Mornington Peninsula motorists will see blue and white signs in danger areas highlighting reasons to drive safely, such as: Because we need to protect our wildlife. The signs are part of a campaign by the Transport Accident Commission to curb road trauma and serious accidents. In the past five years, 37 people have died on peninsula roads, with another four deaths so far this year. The peninsula is the second local government area to pilot the TAC program, Drive Safely Because. The TAC has worked with the shire to set road safety priorities, particularly around…

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A “PERFECT storm” of bushfires, industry cutbacks, COVID, people working from home, and government incentives for new home building and renovations have led to a shortage of structural timber affecting the Victorian building industry. The dearth of supply across the Mornington Peninsula has meant many timber yards are finding it hard to source stock for their trade customers. There are concerns the shortage, leading to delays, will generate a “ripple effect” affecting the jobs of electricians, carpenters, joiners and others involved in home building. Adding to the “storm” are rises in global freight charges and strong demand for timber in…

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