Home' The Great Southern Star : September 6th 2016 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, September 6, 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
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farmers in the co-operative.
Again, so much for transpar-
ency as secrecy prevailed. The con-
sequences of these actions will be felt
for many years to come.
It seems there is also secrecy
around the subdivision in Inverloch
where the transfer station is to be
How is it that the land in this
area which is estuarine and subject to
coastal inundation has been given the
go ahead to be developed?
For the benefit of a few people,
the rest of the local population is be-
ing disadvantaged, considering the
rates we pay.
In the process of community
awareness, the expressed wishes of
the community were not adequately
I thought as constituents our
council members would represent us.
I look at how so many issues
were handled and I do not like what
I have seen: dogs on the beaches re-
strictions; Surf Parade foot path and
traffic redirection; closure of transfer
stations; and let’s not forget the clo-
sure of the tourist information centre
This was built by the community
with government support and the full
support of the shire.
I feel so disappointed the Rotary
club, that worked so hard to make
this happen, was treated with so
Like others I am very disappoint-
ed in issues that have been raised in
the past. Because of the prolonged
and poor decision making that has
occurred, this is why I would like to
see a clean sweep at these council
Seeking Carole Pope
FOR some reason I just unwrapped
my doona that I had dry cleaned ear-
lier this year at Leongatha.
The dry cleaners has since
Imagine my surprise to find a
queen size mattress topper and not
my queen size doona!
The mix-up is due to the owner of
the mattress topper having the same
So if you read this, Carole Pope,
and wonder what happened to your
dry cleaning, I have only just discov-
If you are interested, I’d like to
BASS Coast Shire councillor Brad-
ley Drew recently published infor-
mation lauding Bass Coast Shire
Council’s performance, which in my
opinion was misleading and made
me wonder can he be looking at the
same information that I am.
My information is from council
budget’s from council’s web page.
He should note staff numbers
have not been “...decreased by
The actual 2015-6 fulltime
equivalent is 322.9 and the budget
for 2016-17 is 315.5- a reduction of
The figure of 315.5 is 56 more
than Baw Baw that manage $15 mil-
lion more income and 26.1 more than
Surf Coast that manage $4 million
Fifty-six employees at the aver-
age employee cost of $ 92,726 means
Bass Coast pays out $5,184,536 per
annum more than Baw Baw.
At 7.4 less employees at the av-
erage cost of $92,726, the saving in
employee cost is $686,172, not the $3
million as stated by Cr Drew.
Cr Drew stated, “....this council
keep operational cost increases to
zero in this year’s budget”.
Operational costs (total expenses)
have increased by $1.65 million from
last year’s budget.
Operational costs in the 2015-16
budget were $70,207,000 and in the
2016-17 budget $71,856,000.
The council budget 2015-6 stated
income was $74,006,000.
This year’s budget states actual in-
come for 2015-16 was $73,232,000,
a drop of $774,000 less income than
Last year’s budget 2015-16
showed expenses of $70,207,000.
This year’s budget showed actual ex-
penses for 2015-6 was $71,222,000,
an increase in expenditure of
So expenses were up and income
was down $1,789,000 worse than the
2015-16 budget. Not a great result.
So how can Cr Drew state Coun-
cil is doing well?.
Cr Drew states the asset renewal
is 100 percent. He is wrong. The
2016-17 budget clearly states the as-
set renewal for 2016 is budgeted at
74.8 percent, with similar figures for
the next three years.
The budget also states, “A value
of 100 percent or greater is consid-
ered an essential target”. Note Baw
Baw has an asset renewal of 116.9
Does Cr Drew understand the
financial information produced by
How can he misinterpret the
published information so incorrectly
when it is patently obvious to anyone
who examines the information can
see he is wrong.
This is a clear indication to vot-
ers in the October elections we need
councillors who can understand bud-
gets and financial information.
THE term ‘grass roots’ football is
used by many, especially those at the
highest level of administration of our
The reality is ‘grass roots’ foot-
ball is clubs such as those left in the
Alberton football league as these are
the heart and soul of their local com-
Volunteers give hundreds of
hours to encourage and educate our
next generation of AFL stars to the
highest skill level.
Local kids get to experience a
club environment with the ground-
ing of being part of a football family
The decision to reduce the Al-
berton football league to seven teams
could see these clubs struggle to sur-
Our clubs, many with a 125 year
history have survived many difficult
times facing wars, hardship and trag-
edy over many generations.
During these years we have built
on our traditional rivals and contin-
ued to put teams out on the ground.
How do we now survive the AFL
Gippsland decisions and its high
handed attitude that does not encour-
age our clubs, players and volunteers
into the future?
Show me the support for ‘grass
roots’ football in the form of a lifeline
to the Alberton football league.
I REFER to your article in the recent
edition of The Star, “Tarwin Lower
Craft Shop Saved”, in particular Cr
Lorraine Brunt’s comments on Venus
Obviously she hasn’t been to Ve-
nus Bay lately! Too many trees; the
environment and trees are part of the
reason most people buy here.
Most know it’s a high fire risk
area and are prepared to take the risk.
I have lived in Venus Bay for 20
years and have yet to see a koala. Kan-
garoos yes but no koalas. Animals
do get killed mostly due to speeding
drivers and bad road conditions.
All this doesn’t alter the fact that
these blocks were recorded as recre-
ational reserves and as such should
Two down and five
TWO Bass Coast councillors have
pulled the plug and let’s hope the
remaining five heed the clear mes-
sage from the people of Bass Coast
and decide not to recontest the elec-
tions in late October.
These councillors and the CEO
are responsible for Bass Coast gain-
ing the dubious dishonour of being
nominated the worst council in Vic-
toria, according to the recent State
Government’s survey of all coun-
cils in the state.
The way to ensure we get a
clean sweep of council in October
is for electors to place all remain-
ing sitting councillors last on their
The present council is domi-
nated by the Greens or environmen-
talists, and this is the same reason
the democratically elected Federal
Government is being frustrated by
the Greens in Canberra.
Look at Inverloch; banning
dogs on our beaches, shutting down
the transfer station, which is busier
than its counterpart in Wonthaggi
and the madness of the chicane or
tightening of the thoroughfare that
is Surf Parade, at enormous cost.
We will get the opportunity of
voicing our disapproval at all these
idiotic decisions on Sunday, Octo-
ber 2 at a giant rally at the Inverloch
Recreation Reserve at noon.
The transfer station serves
more people from Inverloch when
it opens from Saturday to Monday
than the Wonthaggi transfer station
which opens every day.
What has not been stressed is
that during the summer holiday
period the population of Inverloch
increases fourfold from the resident
population of more than 5000.
This is explained by the fact the
holiday homes, owned frequently
by Melbourne people who come
here to holiday, or are occupied by
holiday rental tourists.
The town swells to more than
And where do they deposit their
rubbish or recyclables?
The answer at the moment is the
Inverloch transfer station.
Can you imagine the extra 1500
people traipsing all the way to Won-
And I don’t know where.
Can the bright sparks from Bass
Coast’s elected councillors give us
an answer? Obviously they can’t.
This, and all the stuff ups over
the years, is the reason they must all
be kicked out.
I urge you to write to your lo-
cal and metropolitan papers, ring
the radio stations and inundate the
TV channels with your complaints
against this pathetic council.
And as for the CEO, who gets
more pay than the premier, he
should forego his bonus and instead
pay a penalty, considering the woe-
ful outcomes achieved during his
term in office.
Just think of all the money wast-
ed on outside consultants, when the
highly paid employees of council
should be providing the answers
Give us a break and let the five
remaining councillors also desert
this sinking ship.
And let’s elect new blood in
“I like hot chips with sauce.
They’re warm and I don’t eat
meat so they are great.”
What food do you like to eat at the football?
“I like hotdogs because they’re
yum. I have one almost every
time I go to the footy.”
“I like hot chips with sauce be-
cause they keep me warm,”
“I like to eat donuts with pink
THE State Government’s decision to ban the ex-
ploration and mining of all onshore unconventional
gas, including the risky mining technique fracking,
resulted in a wave of relief across South Gippsland
The community has fought a persistent, resilient and well
informed campaign across the prospect of coal seam gas (CSG)
mining being undertaken in the region, to protect the environ-
ment, farming and the landscape we treasure.
Premier Daniel Andrews rewarded the community with his
announcement at the Jumbunna property of Brian and Cheryl
Enbom last Tuesday, August 30, an apt location given the cou-
ple’s dedication to Landcare and improving their own farm.
While it is unfortunate the decision took so long to reach, the
government had the responsibility of assessing the possible ben-
efits to the state of Victoria against the risks, given the potential
energy source unconventional gas may have provided.
As Mr Andrews outlined last week, the risks were too great.
While there is no doubt CSG would have most likely pro-
duced some economic benefit to those farmers who wanted it,
the industry would have resulted in the region becoming criss-
crossed by wells and access tracks, making many farms unsuit-
able for dairying or grazing.
The State Government is to be congratulated for making a
decision that no other state or territory government had, par-
ticularly in light of the former Northern Territory government
planning to extract onshore shale gas.
While that gas is different to coal seam gas, the decision is
reported to have contributed to the government losing office last
month, in the wake of public opposition.
The discrepancy between states on unconventional gas min-
ing shows the need for a more unified and informed national ap-
proach to energy policy, as surely if the risks of unconventional
gas are not worth it for Victoria, the industry is not suitable for
anywhere else in Australia either.
While the Bass Strait gas fields are expected to last for many
decades yet, the long term and inevitable task for a future state
government now lies in finding alternative energy sources to
meet the state’s growing needs.
This fact was highlighted by the Energy Networks Associa-
tion last week in response to the government’s announcement.
ENA chief executive officer John Bradley said, “Imposing
a state wide ban on gas exploration and production will under-
mine the role natural gas can play in supporting a cleaner, af-
fordable energy system.”
A new energy source may well come in the form of a pos-
sible new offshore gas field or further research into conventional
onshore gas may reveal extraction methods that are environmen-
tally safe – and therefore of no risk to agriculture and tourism.
Time will tell.
Now to look to the future
Time for new
THE time has come for a complete
change at the Bass Coast Shire Coun-
cil. In my opinion, nine new members
should be elected for the three wards.
The existing council members
have worked to the best of their abil-
ity for this community.
All ratepayers should congratu-
late them for the time and effort they
put in to this difficult and time con-
However, the ratepayers are un-
happy as shown by the last perfor-
mance reviews that rated the council
the lowest in Victoria for satisfaction,
lack of transparency, secrecy on the
costs of consultants and pay rates for
the senior staff - no cuts here.
This is not entirely the fault of the
It seems that rather than pay staff,
senior staff take pay increases and bo-
nuses at the expense of services to the
Considering our availability of
expenditure funds, it seems manage-
ment has become top heavy in the
organisation at the expense of support
workers in the departments needed to
run the shire.
We are told cost saving measures
have been put in place by combining
workloads of departments.
Please give us an explanation for
how two senior property valuers and
an administration officer have been
made redundant can be seen as a cost
What is the yearly cost of em-
ploying consultants to replace their
I understand now we have a part
time general manager. As second in
charge of shire affairs, who will do
Are there in-house staff qualified
to fulfil this position? How much will
hiring a ‘preferred’ consultant cost the
ratepayers to fill the gap?
This is another example of where
we want transparency please.
As a parallel, there are many
farmers in this district including Bass
Coast Shire who trusted Murray
Goulburn dairy corporation.
The CEO and board have walked
away after a disastrous period of de-
cision making, taking with them big
bonuses at the expense of the dairy
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