Home' The Great Southern Star : May 3rd 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - PAGE 17
EASTERN Victoria Region MLC Meli-
na Bath has spoken in Parliament about
the safety risks of the deteriorating
Grand Ridge Road between Boolarra
South and Mirboo North.
She has called on the State Government to pri-
oritise an immediate upgrade of the road.
Ms Bath said of particular concern was the
condition of the tourist road between Fullerton
and Old Foster roads, which is used daily by three
school buses, agricultural transports and tourists,
as well as local traffic.
“There is a significant safety risk as the road
surface has deteriorated to a dangerous state
through a lack of attention,” Ms Bath said.
“Drainage issues, along with spongy depres-
sions and high traffic, have caused the surface to
become highly unstable.”
Ms Bath said she had been contacted by bus
driver David Tree who explained traffic hazard
signs were put up and left for months with no
work being carried out.
Mr Tree said drainage sat higher than the road
and sink holes were proving a traffic hazard.
“As a bus driver I’m transporting the most
precious cargo and there are massive sinkholes
which the bus lurches into,” he said.
“They’re just putting up traffic hazard signs
and think that’s OK but these signs have been
up for months, they’re being blown over and no
work is being carried out.
“I’m aware of the issues so I know to slow
down but this is a tourist road and the condition
of it is not one in which you would encourage
people to travel.”
Mr Tree said recently VicRoads equipment was
in the area but re-located before finishing works.
Ms Bath said the road work needed to be a
priority before a serious accident occurred.
“When will the minister prioritise, through
VicRoads, the immediate upgrade of this road to
ensure the safety of our local community,” she
“With recurrent funding and 10 per cent of the
money allocated from the Port of Melbourne lease
sale to go to rural and regional transport, which is
$700 million, there should be no excuse.”
Action needed: local bus driver David Tree and Eastern Victoria Region MLC Melina Bath
inspect the deteriorating state of Grand Ridge Road which is posing a safety risk.
Grand Ridge Road must
be upgraded, says Bath
State of the art: an allocated $3 million in the Victorian budget secured a new police station
for Cowes recently. Phillip Island has grown significantly over the past two decades with
more than 10,000 permanent residents and a swell of 60,000 people over summer.
Bass MLA Brian Paynter said he was delighted to hear the announcement and looked
forward to seeing police officers enjoying their ‘new digs’ within the next two years.
Pictured, from left, is Bass MLA Brian Paynter, Pam Gill, Celia Fleming, Maddie Baker
and Shadow Minister for Police Edward Donohue, who urged the State Government to com-
mit to the funding.
LEONGATHA Secondary College stu-
dent Matilda Johnson came away from
the Victorian Dance Festival with an
exciting dance scholarship earlier this
Matilda participated in two days of workshops
at the event in Warrnambool and was given the
opportunity to learn a number of routines from
some of Australia’s most famous choreographers.
“I got to do a workshop with Paul Malek, who
is one of my favourite choreographers,” Matilda
“At the end of the workshop I was awarded a
scholarship to take an intensive dance course at
Paul’s company, Transit Dance in Melbourne.”
Matilda was one of five dancers selected from
the workshop of over 200 participants and said
she was thrilled to be chosen by her idol.
“It was a really emotional and challenging
workshop. Paul said I was really living in the rou-
tine and getting in touch with my emotions,” she
With 15 years of dance experience, Matilda
said this prize will help turn her passion into a ca-
reer when she graduates from secondary college
at the end of the year.
“I want to audition for Transit Dance one day
and this scholarship will benefit me in the future.
This course will help me to become a stronger
dancer,” she said.
“This is taking me one step closer to achieving
Dance idol: from left, Leongatha’s Matilda
Johnson received a scholarship from dance
choreographer Paul Malek to attend a dance
intensive program at his company Tran-
sit Dance when she attended the Victorian
Dance Festival earlier this month.
THE Wonthaggi Rotary Club presented Bass
Coast Shire Council with a petition at its meeting
in Cowes recently.
The petition called on council to rescind its de-
cision to close the Wonthaggi Visitor Information
Centre and continue the community service with
its current operating hours.
Council apologised for an error in the agenda
which claimed the petition contained only 15 sig-
natures, rather than the 2300 collected across the
“This is not the first time council has made
this mistake and it is not fair,” Wonthaggi Rotary
president Heather Earle said.
“This reflects badly on us and we know we
have the support of over 2000 community mem-
Cr Neil Rankine apologised on behalf of coun-
cil for the mistake.
“This is disappointing to see and it makes the
petition look smaller than it is,” he said.
Council agreed to table the petition.
COUNCIL was handed the No Business in Abuse
petition on behalf of the South Gippsland Rural
Australians for Refugees. The petition recom-
mends council only supports corporations, organi-
sations and institutions that refuse to profit from
abusive practices towards asylum seekers.
The report was tabled but with a condition.
“We need more information so it will be tabled
for the time being,” Cr Andrew Phillips said.
“We need to make evidence based decisions.”
CR PHIL Wright presented a motion to develop a
Hooded Plover Working Group to protect the spe-
cies on Phillip Island.
Cr Wright recommended implementing two
working groups to develop a Hooded Plover Pro-
tection Strategy for presentation to Victorian En-
vironment Minister Lisa Neville.
“I feel like this is back to front for us,” mayor
Cr Jordan Crugnale said.
“This action should be implemented by Parks
Victoria and Nature Parks. We should then imple-
ment their policy.”
Cr Crugnale rejected the motion however
all other councillors voted in favour of its rec-
EFFICIENCIES and savings made by Bass Coast
Shire Council in the third quarter of 2015-16 were
Bass Coast Council briefs
presented at the meeting.
The efficiencies had been achieved through
service reviews and organisation design.
Almost $400,000 in savings will be achieved
through the Wonthaggi Visitor Information Cen-
tre service review, as well as a reduction in ad-
vertising spending, internal resourcing of some
bridge inspections and review of mobile tele-
A reduction of 1.2 full time equivalent staff
members was also made.
“Management and officers continue to look
for opportunities to review the way we provide
services to ensure they remain relevant and are as
efficient as possible,” chief executive officer Paul
“Savings identified within the 2015-16 finan-
cial year will allow greater investment in capital
works or a reduction in any need for rate increas-
es beyond the rate cap in future years.”
THE Bass Coast Sports and Active Recreation
Needs Assessment was carried unanimously by
The assessment aims to provide council with
the current situation and a future direction for
sport and recreation, as well as help council plan
for the community’s needs and apply for grants
Mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale said participation
rates for most sports in Bass Coast were well be-
low state averages, with poor quality and under-
sized facilities a barrier to growth.
“Popular sports such as basketball, indoor net-
ball and soccer have no facilities within the shire
that meet minimum safety standards. This plan
sets out the planning and facility development
priorities which support the development of these
facilities,” Cr Crugnale said.
“It also equips council to make informed de-
cisions about which sport and active recreation
areas it should be focussing its limited resources
on in the future, and provides the detailed back-
ground data required to help inform council’s
capital works program.”
BASS Coast Shire Council committed to pre-
serve, protect, restore and enhance the natural
environment across the shire over the next 10
years when it adopted the Natural Environment
“The strategy will provide the opportunity for
council to demonstrate leadership for the com-
munity, a clear strategic approach, continuity of
service delivery, and long term financial planning
and investment of resources,” mayor Cr Jordan
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