Home' The Great Southern Star : July 26th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - PAGE 9
By Brad Lester
NYORA will become a more attractive
place to live under a plan to prepare the
town for the future.
The township is the closest town in South
Gippsland Shire to the rapidly expanding south-
eastern suburbs of Melbourne and could experience
unprecedented population growth.
A draft council plan for Nyora moots more trees
and extra footpaths for the town centre, as well as
further tree plantings along Yannathan Road and the
industrial area to create a grand entrance.
The possible return of passenger railway services
is also planned for.
These were proposals outlined in the draft Fu-
ture Nyora Strategy presented to South Gippsland
Shire Council recently by planning consultant James
Larmour-Reid of consultancy Planisphere.
Cr Lorraine Brunt said Nyora would not remain
as people now know it, but council wanted to ensure
ad hoc subdivision did not take place.
“We need to talk about Nyora having 5000 peo-
ple there,” she said.
The report also suggested:
Cornishs Road – a link around the town’s southern
boun dary –not be sealed, but remain as an access
road for bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the
primary school and residential areas;
subdivision of properties from Patman Drive
through to Hatchs Road not occur at a greater
density for at least 30 years; and
a cycling and pedestrian pathway be built along
Hatchs Road, and another pathway along Follett
Funding for public works will come from rate
revenue, developer contributions, government
grants and special charge scheme for footpaths, but
only with the support of the majority of residents.
“There is concern among residents about what is
it is going to cost and who is going to pay,” Cr Jim
Fawcett said, noting special charge schemes could
be as far away as 2028.
“We need to start talking now with the commu-
nity about how this is going to be paid for.”
Such financial details will be supplied in the final
report to council, but the schemes could cost up to
$12 million, with a lot of that to come from devel-
Cr Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks said Nyora need-
ed better crossing points over the railway line and
raised the prospect of a rail trail linking Nyora with
Leongatha and the Great Southern Rail Trail.
He also called for a pedestrian path from Follett
Drive across the railway when subdivision north of
Lang Lang-Poowong Road begins.
Deborah Kemp, secretary of the Nyora and Dis-
trict Development Association, was pleased council
had a vision for the town.
“The whole process (of developing the draft
strategy) has been great,” she said.
Forward thinking: from left, South Gippsland Shire Cr Lorraine Brunt and mayor Cr Bob
Newton discuss the draft Future Nyora Strategy with Deborah Kemp, secretary of the Nyora
and District Development Association, and consultant James Larmour-Reid of consultancy
Planisphere. Main image: an artist’s impression of how Nyora’s Mitchell Street could look
in the future.
By Brad Lester
A PETITION against the municipal pre-
cinct project mooted by South Gippsland
Shire Council has been labelled as based
on wrong information or distorted facts
by mayor Cr Bob Newton.
Cr Don Hill confirmed he initiated the petition call-
ing for the municipal precinct – comprising new offices,
Leongatha library and community meeting rooms – to
be removed from the council budget and the $32 mil-
lion allocated returned to ratepayers by way of lower
Cr Hill said many people were unaware of the proj-
ect, “and especially that it costs $32 million and they are
paying for it in their rates now”.
“An alternative solution at around $5 million could
be investigated instead,” he said.
Council has previously said no funding has been al-
located to the project, but it was rather listed in a general
pool of unexpected expenses.
“This statement is just utter nonsense. The whole
project has been costed out,” Cr Hill said.
“It costs $32 million which includes $7 million
in interest charges. It is being accumulated now from
rates monies. Ratepayers have effectively contributed
four percent of this year’s rates payment towards this
The petition will remain open until Cr Hill said he
has sufficient responses before tabling it to council.
Cr Newton said contrary to the petition’s inference
the project will be – and already is being – wholly fund-
ed by ratepayers, the project would largely be funded by
“The Leongatha library should be a showcase facil-
ity and it has the potential to be. At the moment there
are four distinct worksites for council staff,” he said.
“This presents security issues, reduced customer
service, lack of clarity for customers regarding which
site to go to for what services and poor proximity to col-
leagues, which presents another whole set of issues.”
The existing council office in Smith Street, Leon-
gatha, opened in 1973.
The mayor said council’s capital expenditure pro-
gram for 2022-23 and 2023-24 included $24.72 million
for a municipal precinct proposal.
Council has modelled borrowing $13.6 million in
2023-24 to provide funding for the proposed municipal
precinct and said the general reserve’s primary purpose
was to accumulate funding for likely future funding
calls made for defined benefits superannuation liabili-
In 2023-24 and 2025-26, council has modelled to
draw down on some of the capacity of the general re-
serve ($2.5 million and $3 million respectively) to re-
duce the borrowing and finance costs associated with
the municipal precinct proposal.
Petition inflames council tensions
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