Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : December 16 2015 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2015 - PAGE 5
South Coast Decor Centre proudly supporting the local community
Celebrate the spirit
The combined churches of Wonthaggi presents
A family friendly event for the whole community
Sunday, December 20, Apex Park, Murray Street, Wonthaggi
Family time begins at 6pm... free sausage sizzle,
popcorn, candy floss, face painting and family activi
Musical program commences 7.45pm... featuring Aa
Gale, Wonthaggi Citizens Band, U3A Community Cho
and Connecting Skills Australia, Nativity performance
Wonthaggi Rock School and more
*If inclement weather, our event will
transfer to Wonthaggi Town Hall
Community Carols a
night to remember
& Towing Service
5952 2721 or 0419 157 296
116 Dunsmore Road,
Christmas at the hub
ABOVE: The Phillip
Island Hub has cele -
brated all things Christ-
mas in the past week
with the children mak-
ing decorations, pre -
senting a nativity play
for their families, and
a highlight of course, a
visit from Santa.
Staff were just as ex-
cited to meet Santa, as
all the little kids. They
are pictured during his
visit. From left, they
are Rhyse Davis(CFA),
Karen Treppo, Narelle
Brindley, Michelle Bai-
ley and Carleen Mont-
gomery. Front are Tay-
lor Forrest, Jasmine
Wales and Courtney
RIGHT: The joy of
meeting Santa shines
on the face of Jippa An-
iban, when the jolly old
fellow called in to say
hello to the kids at the
Cowes Children's Hub
PHILLIP ISLAND & SAN REMO
Do you support
a cap on rates?
BASS Coast Shire Council is in-
viting the community to take part
in the review of the Long Term Fi-
nancial Plan (LTFP), which will in-
fluence the 2016-17 Annual Budget.
The discussion will enable com-
munity members to join the con-
versation on rate capping and its
potential impact on services, capital
projects and Council's overall finan-
The LTFP was developed in April
2015 after extensive community
consultation and was adopted with
the intent to make updates to the
plan on an annual basis.
It has now been updated to reflect
Council's current financial position,
whilst retaining the objectives and
aspirations from the original docu-
ment; in particular a focus on op-
erating efficiently, containing opera-
tional spending, renewing assets,
providing new facilities and con-
tinuing to be a low-rating Council.
A significant change since the
adoption of the LTFP has been the
State Government's introduction
of rate capping, with the Essential
Services Commission (ESC) recom-
mending a cap on rates linked to the
Consumer Price Index (CPI), which
is expected to be 3.05 per cent or
lower in 2016/17 and reduced caps
in following years.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan
Crugnale, said the legislation pro-
poses a process for councils to seek
a variation to the cap for their annu-
al budget where they can justify the
need for additional rate income to
deliver on community expectations.
"If Council chooses to seek a vari-
ation to the cap and indicate this
to the ESC by January 31, 2016,
it must also consult with the com-
munity and discuss the potential
impacts of the rate cap model.
"Council has not decided on its
rating levels at this stage but wishes
to retain flexibility as it engages with
the community in the lead up to the
2016/17 Budget. If Council does not
give intention to seek a variation
than rates will be locked at the cap
figure and the community will not
have the opportunity to have their
say," Cr Crugnale said.
All community consultation will
help form a vital part of Council's
consideration of its 2016/17 Bud-
"By delivering our Long Term Fi-
nancial Plan to date and reviewing
our operations for efficiencies, we
have already been able to reduce
our operational expenditure by over
$2 million," Cr Crugnale said.
The potential difference or vari-
ance of the rate cap model com-
pared to the updated LTFP would
• $24 less rates per average as-
• Total reduction of $701,817 in
rate income in 2016/17
• No minor capital projects will be
• Reduced spending on major
• Further efficiencies and/or
reduction in services over the
next three years to the value of
$1,334,000. This is in addition to
the $2M-plus that has already been
delivered in previous years and the
$1.4M that has been targeted in the
Community members will have
numerous opportunities to have in-
put, with community forums start-
ing in January 2016 through to
March 2016, and an online survey
seeking feedback and preferred op-
tions. The community has an im-
portant opportunity to influence the
Long Term Financial Plan and the
2016/17 Annual Budget before it is
developed as a draft in March 2016.
"It's important for people to know
that they don't need to be able to
understand budgets and finances to
get involved," Cr Crugnale said.
"The original LTFP developed in
April 2015 has now been updated.
Savings and efficiencies in opera-
tions have been included and more
funding is being diverted into seek-
ing grant funding, increasing our
capital works and renewing our
assets. This is about the services
Council provides to the community
and where we make more efficien-
cies and service reductions."
For more information on how
you can get involved, visit www.
contact Council on 1300 BCOAST
(226 278) or (03) 5671 2211, or
From the Bass Coast Shire Council
$5 million capital funding
committed for Cowes
BASS Coast Shire Council has
committed $5 million of capital
funding to the Cowes Revitalisa-
tion Project and will now seek
matched funding of $5 million
each from the State and Federal
Council identified a number
of priority projects to revitalise
Cowes as part of the Cowes Activ-
ity Centre Plan, undertaken earlier
Thompson Ward Councillor, An-
drew Phillips, said the vision for
Cowes will create new cultural
and community facilities, a village
green in the Jetty Triangle 'sweet
spot' and improved traffic flow
and parking opportunities for the
"Integrating these activities will
drive community participation
and wellbeing, activate the town
centre and improve the tourist ex-
perience," Cr Phillips said.
"To capitalise on these oppor-
tunities, three priority redevelop-
ment projects have been identi-
fied; the Cowes Jetty Triangle
($2.7 million) Cowes Cultural and
Community Centre ($9.9 millio)
and the Cowes Transit Centre and
All Day Carpark ($2.4 million).
"These projects are what the
community have said are the pri-
orities for Cowes, through the
Cowes Activity Centre Plan, a proj-
ect lobbied for by the community,
with the community at the heart of
it. "Cr Phillips said Council will now
bundle these three priority proj-
ects together to form one funding
"The combined project cost is
$15 million, so our funding strat-
egy will see a $5 million investment
from Council, and $5 million fund-
ing sought from the State Govern-
ment and an additional $5 million
sought from the Federal Govern-
ment, to bring these priority proj-
ects to fruition," Cr Phillips said.
"In addition, a contribution of
$250,000 has been pledged by the
San Remo, Cowes and Grantville
District Community Bendigo Bank
Branches, for the expansion of
the hall at the Cowes Cultural and
Community Centre. "
Cr Neil Rankine, speaking at
last week's council meeting in sup-
port of the Cowes revitalisation
project, could not contain himself.
"I would like to say what a great
council we are, " he commented.
"WE have identified these proj-
ects. There is a community need.
Eventually we will get something
done at Wonthaggi, although I
don't know when."
Cr Bradley Drew agreed.
"We are delivering on our com-
mitments. If there is anything we
have done well in our term, it is
these projects. "
Cr Le Serve agreed.
Cr Phil Wright rained on the pa-
rade, however, noting that no funding
commitment has been made by state
or federal government, and council
funding was contingent on this.
"I don't share the same opti-
mism," Cr Wright commented.
"In three years, I don't consider
we have delivered anything.
"Very few capital projects have
been carried out.
"I wanted to see the jetty triangle
works delivered this year. By bun-
dling the projects together, noth-
ing might happen.
"If it works, fantastic."
Cr Wright said he felt the bigger
issue was focussing on the shire's
"There is so much we need and
want he said, , lusting a $60 mil-
lion penguin parade upgrade, sub
regional hospital for Wonthaggi,
new Wonthaggi Secondary College,
and an Aquatic Centre for both the
island and Wonthaggi.
"We as councillors have not faced
up to prioritising what is needed.
"We oscillate from one to the
other, and nothing ever happens. "
Cr Phillips agreed that "it would
have been nice to see something
done at the Jetty Triangle."
"Of course we have to win the
grants, but that should not be too
hard for three such great proj-
ects," he said.
A NEW short stay unit has opened
at the Wonthaggi Hospital.
The new unit, which is adjacent
the hospital's emergency depart-
ment, contains four beds and will
support patients who have been as-
sessed and treated in the hospital's
emergency department who need
to stay in hospital for less than 24
The unit was constructed by lo-
cal builder TS Constructions, and
the building works were overseen
by the health service's engineering
"The opening of the new unit
builds on the existing emergency
services Bass Coast Health pro-
vides to the community and will as-
sist the medical and nursing teams
in our ED to provide more timely
care to patients using our emer-
gency services," said Bass Coast
Health CEO, Veronica Jamieson
"The entire project team is to be
congratulated for working so hard
to bring the project to fruition", Ms
The first patient using the ser-
vice, Cecilia Stewart, was very
pleased to be able to use the new
facility, despite being admitted with
an asthma condition that interrupt-
ed her visit to the Bass Coast area
from her home in Yarra Junction.
Emergency department physi-
cians provided care to Ms Stewart
during her stay.
New short stay unit at Wonthaggi Hospital
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