Home' The Great Southern Star : June 21st 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, June 21, 2016
they concerned with keeping their
jobs and treating the ratepayers like
I seem to have asked a lot of
questions, but the answers are not
Time for change
BASS Coast Shire Council is now
rated as the worst in Victoria.
An analysis reveals this is the
outcome of the State Government’s
annual Local Government Commu-
nity Satisfaction Survey.
Every year, 400 Bass Coast peo-
ple are contacted by a State Govern-
ment Department and are surveyed
on a large range of important issues.
What an utter disaster that our
worst ever Council is now rated as
the worst in Victoria. The survey
shows that with one exception, the
council went backwards on all core
performance measures over the past
What a pathetic outcome, par-
ticularly when the Council spent
tens of thousands of dollars to bring
in highly paid consultants to coach
them how to better communicate and
consult with the community.
Clearly that money was wasted,
as it is with so many of the consul-
tants they employ.
It will be no surprise to many that
the largest decline in ratings occurred
on Overall Council Direction. If one
considers the numerous issues which
council has enacted to get people off
side then I guess it is understandable
they are our worst ever. They have
killed off all incentive for people and
businesses to undertake work in Bass
Bass Coast is closed for business.
Talk to any builder and they will tell
you stories of woe. Business (read
jobs) are deserting Bass Coast on an
almost weekly basis.
The dogs on beach debacle spans
three years. The footpath along Surf
Parade in Inverloch which is still to
be built is a monument to incompe-
tence. They are planning to close the
tourist information centre in Wont-
haggi. They have created a rubbish
tip in the centre of Wonthaggi, which
they call a council storage yard and
they closed the only rubbish tip on
Phillip Island has been treated
abysmally by this Council. Council-
lors well know what the community
on Phillip Island think of them so
they have stopped using the only lo-
cal paper which covers Phillip Island
and San Remo. Most see this as a
clear attempt to neuter the media.
For a vast number of Phillip Is-
land and San Remo residents their
local paper is the only way they re-
ceive information regarding what is
happening with their council.
Events and activities are now
taking place on Phillip Island which
large numbers in the community are
missing and have no knowledge of
because the Council no longer adver-
tises in the local paper.
In the next few weeks I am in-
formed the council is seriously con-
sidering tendering out the shire wide
rubbish collection for a period of 10
years. The proposal will include re-
ducing the main rubbish bin collec-
tion for most residents (household
garbage) from a weekly service to a
At the same time, the already high
cost of garbage rates will increase
because they propose to introduce a
green waste bin which most do not
want at extra cost.
Without doubt, council should
not conduct this tender process just
before the coming council election
and should wait until the view of the
new council is considered.
So what can be done? In four
months there will be a council elec-
tion in Bass Coast and all current
councillors will be up for election.
Even before it is known who will
be standing, most people I know will
be putting their sitting councillor last
when they vote. By putting sitting
councillors last, the community can
be assured of a new council and a
One thing is for sure. When our
council is known far and wide as our
worst ever and a government survey
finds them to be the worst in the state,
it’s time for change.
I AM totally flabbergasted South
Gippsland Shire thinks it is a great
idea to sell the shire land adjacent to
the Tarwin Lower Mechanics Hall.
On this shire land also is located
the local art and craft shop which the
shire helped initiate.
May be the shire bureaucrats
thought no one would notice the low
key public notice that was placed in
the local paper. We have noticed!
This open spaced grassy area
with some lovely old gumtrees forms
the background to six well attended
Tarwin Lower markets per year and
has been the culmination of the last
two Tour De Tarwin community fun
day activities. Hundreds of people at
times enjoy this space. Thousands
pass through each year.
The markets are the financial life-
blood for the survival of the historic
mechanics institute hall.
Does the shire contribute to its
maintenance or are the funds raised
locally? Without the funds from the
market to maintain the hall, and the
funds raised for the community by
the art and craft shop, Tarwin Low-
er community would be much the
Over the years thousands of dol-
lars have been raised and put back
into the community and the hall.
So the shire thinks it should be
sold off. Why? What logic is there in
this decision? Who will benefit? Not
Maybe it is to raise funds for a
multimillion whizz bang new shire
office block in Leongatha which no
IF Bass Coast Shire Council closes
the Inverloch Transfer Station how
many ute and trailer loads will need
to be carted to Wonthaggi?
Given the nature of tree branches
this would create two more hazards
on the highway: slow moving ve-
hicles and recalcitrant branches on
the roadside. All in a fairly busy 100
km/h zone during weekends!
As a bare minimum, council
needs to retain the facility to process
tree trimmings and branches in Inver-
Community consultation and
engagement can provide answers to
issues such as this. Council needs
to listen to stakeholders before it
proposes changes that affect an en-
tire community as well as impeding
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
any day, anytime.
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and socialise at the same
Why are sports clubs an important part of the community?
“It is a social club as well as a
sports club. It is a good way to
catch up with mates.”
“It is fun. I play netball and I
get to catch up with friends at
the same time.”
“It brings together the commu-
nity for good social activities
and it gives people who are new
to town an opportunity to meet
I WROTE to South Gippsland Shire
Council regarding the Bair Street re-
development and the reply I received
was 100 percent bureaucratic mumbo
jumbo at its best!
I asked: “What is the good of
making the footpath wider and plant-
ing trees in the middle of the road,
making less parking spaces to attract
customers to the town, when we all
know that half the shops in Leon-
gatha are empty? Leongatha is main-
ly famous for four things: real estate
agents, hairdressers, coffee shops and
I agree with your correspondent
Yvonne Bell, where she queries the
waste of money on these exorbitant
plans and I ask the questions again
through your newspaper:
Why are the shops empty? Is it
because customers buy on the inter-
net? Is it because rents are exorbi-
Is it because customer service is
lacking in so many shops or is there
something else we are not aware of?
Why isn’t the shire doing some-
thing to attract new businesses to the
area instead of spending our rates sup-
posedly to attract shoppers? Where
will they shop? Not many things to
buy in empty spaces!
Meeniyan and Mirboo North are
vibrant ‘tourist’ towns, buzzing on the
weekends. Leongatha closes down at
noon on Saturday, so is dead from
then on until Monday morning. Why
is this so? Is it because Meeniyan and
Mirboo North businesses are family
run businesses and can be open on
weekends without the cost of penalty
Can the shire learn anything from
Meeniyan and Mirboo North, or are
THE Foster community united and vehemently op-
posed South Gippsland Shire Council’s proposal to
sell PJ Wilson Park in the last round of land sales by
Council ultimately reversed its intention to sell the land but the
damage to council’s reputation had been done.
Council had been seen to want to sell an attractive open space
near the town’s entrance where sculptures now greet visitors to
town and the community will most likely not forget council for
wanting to do so.
It seems council has not learnt from that experience and is now
considering selling a block of land at Tarwin Lower that benefits
that coastal community in two ways.
Firstly, the block is used by the Tarwin Lower markets to raise
funds for the town’s hall. Council believes the markets could be
moved to the foreshore but the foreshore is a narrow strip of land
between the river and a busy road that is an unsafe location for
events where people will have their minds on stalls and not on road
traffic or the river. Staging the market there would increase the risk
of a car colliding with market-goers or stallholders. Either that, or
someone will likely fall in the river sooner or later.
Secondly, the block is the site of Riverside Crafts, a craft shop
that sells handcrafted items to not only give craftspeople income
and a sense of purpose, but also raises funds for the Tarwin Lower
and Venus Bay communities.
This is despite the former Woorayl Shire being given the land
for community use and the craft shop committee borrowing money
to build the shop. Only last week, the craft shop gave $1000 to the
Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Club.
The Star has been told the craft volunteers were told by council
to move to the Venus Bay Community Centre but relocating a shop
there is not practical. The community centre is already well occu-
pied by its own activities, including an op shop.
Yes, council has a responsibility to consider selling surplus
land to raise money towards other community infrastructure but it
seems more thought needs to be given to the initial list of properties
mooted for sale to avoid worrying the community unnecessarily by
listing properties for sale and then withdrawing them.
Selling craft shop far from creative
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