Home' The Great Southern Star : February 9th 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR”, Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Post: PO Box 84 Leongatha 3953
Fax: 03 5662 4350
Post: PO Box 84 Leongatha 3953
Fax: 03 5662 4350
OPINIONS Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
IN response to a recent article,
“Council’s parks under fire” in
South Gippsland Shire Coun-
cil representative Danny Mc-
Donald said, “The Yanakie and
Long Jetty caravan parks were
completely booked out for the
Christmas-New Year period.”
Annuals at Yanakie CP
are adamant this is false.
Many sites remained empty and
the park was never full over
Christmas-New Year. On January
3, merely 23 campsites were oc-
cupied, about a quarter of those
available. The park coordinator
even stated the park was “not as
full as last year.” Long Jetty an-
nuals reported the park being a
Why would Mr McDon-
ald state the parks were fully
Visitor Marianne Currey’s
assertions regarding issues at
Yanakie, including noise, rub-
bish, poor communication and
management are issues annuals
have endured since council took
over in 2013.
The office is often unat-
tended and management is
rarely seen. Yes, there is a num-
ber for enquiries, but it is often
not answered and some mo-
biles don’t work at Yanakie!
Many campers arriving at the
park after 5pm were unable
to raise anyone. This poten-
tial revenue bounced off the
gate, possibly never to return.
Noise late at night, speeding
cars and bikes have become the
norm at Yanakie Caravan Park.
Rubbish is an ongoing prob-
lem as bins are regularly left
full or overflowing and smell-
ing for up to three weeks.
This was highlighted again over
the recent holiday period with
rubbish spread throughout the
Further, the amenities blocks
were again a disgrace. Lack of
regular cleaning, toilet paper and
hand soap are real hygiene is-
A camper approached the of-
fice staff to complain about no
toilet paper, only to find she was
not the only one complaining.
Staff replied they were far too
busy to attend such matters!
These are but a few in a long
list of issues of poor manage-
ment, hygiene and safety at the
parks since the council took over.
Yanakie and Long Jetty
caravan parks are great places
many campers have enjoyed
with their families, historically
offering a pleasant and wel-
The recent deterioration in the
parks is regrettable. We hope for
both visitors and annuals, council
can fix its problems and the parks
can recover to their former state.
As for annuals and their fu-
ture at the parks, Mr McDon-
ald said, “There are currently
around 65 annual site holders
at Yanakie and 48 at Long Jet-
ty and while some annual site
holders decided to leave during
the financial year, some new an-
nuals have arrived.”
Whilst Mr McDonald’s state-
ment holds some truth, it also
hides important facts.
He fails to mention that about
60 annuals from Yanakie and
about 40 from Long Jetty have
also vacated since the council
took over, with more preparing
to go. This represents a loss of
income of up to about $400,000
At Yanakie, only one new an-
nual has entered the park. A simi-
lar story at Long Jetty.
Council wants to implement
an annual permit system that re-
quires compliance with unnec-
essary, unreasonable and costly
conditions. There has also been
about a 30 per cent increase in
The annuals of both parks ap-
proached the council to discuss
reaching a revised set of condi-
tions and fees that would see
most annuals remain at the parks.
Unfortunately, the council made
it clear it was not willing to dis-
cuss these issues.
Many annuals felt little option
but to vacate or take legal action.
The matter is now before the
Supreme Court of Victoria, await-
ing a mediation hearing.
Other committees of man-
agement of Crown land caravan
parks have worked with gov-
ernment and annuals and found
ways to soften the impact of the
DEPI guidelines, thus retaining
the majority of their annuals.
Why can’t South Gippsland Shire
Council do this?
The annuals of Yanakie and
Long Jetty sincerely hope coun-
cil can review its approach and
enter mediation with a positive
outlook to working towards re-
taining the remaining annual
Yanakie Caravan Park.
AS a part-time resident of In-
verloch for the past 17 years,
my wife and I endeavour to
take an interest in local events
and the history of the area.
To this end and because we
both are keen on the local history
of our home area, we recently
visited the Inverloch Historical
Society’s photograph display on
the day of the recent regatta.
We were so impressed by
the enthusiasm of the commit-
tee members and conversely, so
sympathetic to their unsuccessful
attempts to gain council support
for a more appropriate and per-
We understand the society has
been actively lobbying council
for the former Rangers Hut as a
headquarters to accommodate its
important memorabilia material
and to locate the old Inverloch
Jail next to the Ripple display
area. This strategy would create
a most enviable and appropriate
historical precinct and provide
appropriate recognition of the
heritage of the area.
As a former councillor for
over seven years and a dual term
shire president, I am at a loss to
understand the attitude of the
Bass Coast Council and the as-
sociated lack of support to the is-
sues I have raised.
Whilst I am not privy to fac-
tual information and am perhaps
stepping into contentious terrain
and could well be proven wrong,
from what I understand, I cannot
see any significant cost impact
nor any unsurmountable logisti-
cal impediment to utilising the
establishment of a permanent
facility and the establishment of
the foundation of a historical pre-
I understand the Rangers Hut
is currently used by the yacht
club for drying clothes or similar
which could possibly be done in
a converted shipping container or
similar within the club’s property,
thus releasing this building to the
Also, I understand the society
has been unsuccessful in obtain-
ing council’s support and relevant
approvals to erect the small for-
mer jail as described above.
Such a lack of support for a
societally important community
group and its significance to the
area is in my opinion a clear con-
tradiction of the fundamental role
of local government.
Let’s face it: it would not re-
sult in more dogs or a major ad-
verse environmental issue, both
of which appear to dominate
a lot of the local councils and I
suggest, particularly Councillor
I urge council to provide the
Inverloch Historical Society with
a more appropriate and deserved
level of support.
AS the Labor candidate for the
seat of McMillan in the upcom-
ing federal election, I have been
asked many times about wheth-
er it is time to change the name
of the seat.
Our electorate is named after
Angus McMillan one of the origi-
nal Scottish pioneers, who came
here in the 1800s to carve out a
new life for his family.
Along with several other set-
tlers, he was responsible for the
murder and massacre of the local
indigenous people in a number of
different places across Gippsland.
It is part of our history as a region
and the facts are undisputable.
Make no mistake the original
inhabitants of our land have not
There are many good people
directly descended from the
original white settlers who wish
for a way to help heal the hurt
and suffering caused. They know
deep down that it is not right to
continue venerating Angus Mc-
In my opinion we are well
overdue for a name change and
we should embrace the opportu-
nity to have the conversation as a
community about how we wish to
The value in changing the
name away from McMillan is
recognising the wrongs and mak-
ing a clear statement as a commu-
nity that we are for recognition
We have an opportunity to
build consensus and lobby for a
name change next year as part of
the federal electoral boundary re-
Join me in letting the Austra-
lian Electoral Commission know
that we want a name for our fed-
eral seat that more closely aligns
with our values and aspirations.
Labor candidate for
“I have no plans because I am
on my own.”
“What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?”
“I don’t have any plans.
I don’t tend to celebrate
“I will hopefully have a nice
dinner with my partner. I will
probably be cooking.”
“I don’t have much planned. I
might buy my girlfriend some
VICROADS and the State Government know how
to deflate the community’s hopes.
Last September, the roads authority announced it would complete
a business case for a proposed $51 million realignment of the Black
Spur bends on the South Gippsland Highway between Koonwarra and
The community was delighted and turned up to information sessions
VicRoads held at Koonwarra to have a look at the proposal.
It was to be the biggest roadworks in South Gippsland’s recent his-
tory, saving the transport industry millions, improving safety for motor-
ists and boosting tourism.
The highway is after all the main route to the region’s tourism jewel,
Wilsons Promontory National Park.
As it stands, the Black Spur section is now 3.4km of steep and nar-
row, winding road with unsealed shoulders. The site has been the subject
of 13 reported accidents in the past five years, some involving truck
rollovers, impacting 32 people and resulting in four serious injuries.
Last September, VicRoads said the realignment was set to save $31
million in freight costs over 30 years, based on reduced labour, repairs,
maintenance and fuel costs as a result of less time taken to navigate the
section of the highway.
Other motorists were expected to save $24 million in travel time and
the realignment was tipped to cut the incidence of crashes by 80 per cent.
The business case was due to be submitted at state level by the end
of last year but now will not be lodged until December this year.
Delays happen for whatever reason but despite repeated requests by
The Star for the reason for the delay, VicRoads refused to give a clear
The community deserves to know why. After all, VicRoads does
spend public money.
Did someone in State Government get wind of the $51 million cost
and fall off their chair in shock? Was VicRoads’ Gippsland office told to
delay the business case or review it and reduce the cost?
The community deserves to know why the business case was put
on the backburner and whether there really is any hope of this project
seeing the light of day.
The project has been 10 years in the making, with the preferred align-
ment chosen in 2001 and a public acquisition overlay gazetted in 2003.
Come on VicRoads and State Government; don’t take South
Gippslanders for fools. Answers are needed.
Reason for delay must be revealed
I READ with interest a recent
editorial in your newspaper re-
garding the unfortunate demise
of the South Gippsland Tourist
Your editorial was spot on.
The volunteers of this group
have kept alive the possibility of
passenger rail returning one day
The fact they have managed
to maintain and service the 30 or
so kilometres of rail means that
for the time being, that track will
remain in place.
But getting passenger trains
back to Leongatha won’t be easy,
because until it becomes a politi-
cal problem, there won’t be a po-
Labor won’t invest the sort of
money needed because the seat of
Gippsland South is an extremely
strong Nationals seat.
The Coalition won’t invest
the money because the seat is not
There have been three pas-
senger lines reopened in living
memory and all three occurred
because they were in vulnerable
The Ararat and Maryborough
lines are in the marginal seat of
Ripon which Labor won in 1999.
The Bairnsdale line was in
the seat of Gippsland East which
was held at the time by an inde-
pendent MP needed by the Labor
Returning passenger rail to
a whole lot of places should be
a high priority of this and future
But until electorates like
Gippsland South become volatile,
the issue isn’t on anyone’s radar.
GAS protesters from
South Gippsland will join
a rally in Melbourne to-
day (Tuesday), calling on
the State Government to
ban onshore gas.
Members of Coal and CSG
Free Mirboo North will be at the
rally on the steps of the Victorian
Parliament on the first sitting day
The rally will request the ban
and ask for ambitious Victorian
Renewable Energy Targets.
Mirboo North group member
Marg Thomas said, “This issue is
of critical importance to Victoria
as demonstrated by the formida-
ble groundswell of opposition to
“The rally comes at a pivotal
point when government is consid-
ering the recommendations of the
Inquiry into Unconventional Gas,
with a decision to be reached pos-
sibly in early March.
“The rally also calls on gov-
ernment to deliver an ambitious
Victorian Renewable Energy Tar-
get, which is under consideration
at this time. Growing renewables
is not only environmentally ben-
eficial but economically viable
for our state, taking pressure off
government to comply with the
mining industry’s lobbyists.”
The rally is being organised
by Friends of the Earth and Lock
Locals to rally at
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