Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : January 6 2016 Contents PAGE 18 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2016
Tell us your views with a ‘Letter to the Editor’, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the Editor
At the recent public forum held re-
garding the proposed redevelopment
of our Cultural Centre, a few matters
have given me concern, and these are:
The first (and only) opportunity for
the public to view this proposed rede-
velopment was conducted earlier this
month when the majority of holiday
home owners have not yet arrived.
I would submit, to be totally fair
and to ensure the integrity of this sig-
nificant project is maintained, then a
second public forum should be held,
ideally in the middle of January when
the peak of holiday home owners have
arrived, and also those of us that are
permanent residents that have been
absent during the winter months have
also returned to the Island.
I am also bemused by the plans to
change the current auditorium into
some sort of fixed seating venue.
My question then is – where do we
hold community entertainment events,
such as the recent very successful
“Rock Meets Jazz” night which also
doubled as a fundraising event.
Where do we hold other community
functions and events, and please don’t
tell me we have to consider using al-
ternative venues away from Cowes
I am informed (by council) that “we
the community have spoken” and that
we don’t want this type of auditorium
I don’t recall being asked, and nu-
merous other people I speak to don’t
even know about this major project,
yet it seems the decision has already
I have a number of concerns regard-
ing this project and whilst conceptu-
ally it has merit there are many issues
such as additional public parking to
accommodate what appears to be a
Aquatic centre and the new Medical
Hub, that appear to have either been
overlooked or “we’ll look at that later”
Look at it later! You have to be jok-
ing! Plan these vital issues now – not
later when it is too late!
My final point is that I am informed
the results of the recent public consul-
tation in a tent will be “collated” and a
Can someone tell me who is to be the
Again, to maintain the integrity and
impartiality of what will be a signifi-
cant financial investment, the collator
should be an independent organisa-
tion with no conflict of interest in this
Of course your architects and coun-
cil officers would naturally be exclud-
ed for this very reason.
I await, with interest and trust, that
a second forum will be held much
sooner than later, with sufficient time
allowed for ALL concerned and inter-
ested residents to attend and be given
an opportunity to ask questions and
be provided with unbiased and factual
Gary Simmons, Silverleaves.
No deal on airport land
In response to the article in the Bass
Coast Post 12/12/15 re airfield owners
open bidding at 300 houses.
The community has been presented
with a development proposal for the
Phillip Island airport and I would like
to bring the community’s attention to
Bass Coast Shire Council plans and
strategies that were developed with
BCSC has developed and adopted
BCS Planning Scheme prevents any
additional expansion of Cape Woola-
San Remo, Newhaven and Cape
Woolamai Structure plan: Cape Woola-
mai is defined by clear and identifiable
Township Character Study: Cape
Woolamai has been identified as a low
priority rated area for development -
therefore no further character study is
The community has not embraced
the proposed development for a range
We have been told what the owners
want on this land, but not consulted.
There is no ‘bargain’ to be made as
this parcel of land has not been identi-
fied in any scheme, study or plan by
Bass Coast Shire Council as potential
So, yes, Cr Wright, we can say “no”
to any development on this ‘crappy bit
of farmland’ because we like our little
piece of ‘Utopia’ just the way it is.
Nyree Davis, Cape Woolamai.
Fishermen to blame
Over many years I have rescued
birds that have swallowed hooks and
become entwined in fishing lines.
Recently a friend’s dog swallowed a
hook attached to a fishing line, while
playing on the beach.
He had to be euthanased, much to
the sorrow and distress of the family.
I will continue to speak out against
lazy and thoughtless fisherman, who
cannot take home their hooks, lines
Jan Fleming, Surf Beach.
In whose interest is
I feel like I need to write to your
paper in response to Cr Phil Wright’s
letter (Advertiser Dec 23 2015) con-
cerning the proposed development of
Phillip Island Airport.
Cr Wright is quoted in the letter
stating that “council officers are here
to implement what the community
want”, yet it was very apparent on the
night (of the community session) that
this development is something the
community does not want.
Furthermore, the said Councillor
opened this community session stat-
ing that he fully supported all devel-
opment off the Island in places such
as Wonthaggi and even San Remo,
but not Phillip Island, so I was a little
confused on the night as it seemed the
councillor was very keen for this de-
velopment to proceed.
It appears, according to Cr Wright,
that should any land owner on Phil-
lip Island be prepared to hand over a
portion of their property for the sup-
posed benefit of the community, town
boundaries do not seem to exist and a
rezoning could be yours.
Should you plan on including Aus-
tralia’s best skate park, well an extra
50 lots within the subdivision are
yours for the taking, or maybe you
could create a Nature Trail, well, boo-
hoo to you as it appears you are en-
titled to an additional 100 lots!
All of this regardless of any adverse
effect this may have on surrounding
residents whose enjoyment of their
local environment pales into insignifi-
cance providing they now have a skate
park or a nature trail!
My final point involves the owner-
ship of this parkland that will be so
generously donated by the developers
to the community.
After discussions with the develop-
ers representatives, I am of the under-
standing that the land title would be
transferred to the Bass Coast Shire
Council, this would no doubt include
Australia’s best skate park, which
will require ongoing maintenance at
a substantial cost to the above men-
tioned rate payers.
How convenient for the new resi-
dents and how disastrous for the rest
Remember this is a council whose
rates will be capped from next year
at around 2.5%, not the standard
8%; and a council that can just about
manage to find the funds to replace
the flowers on a roundabout twice a
year, but somehow do manage to be
awarded above-CPI wage increases on
a regular basis, but are unable to pro -
vide the most basic of services such
as a hard rubbish collection.
On a side issue, but one that I feel
must be addressed, is what potential-
ly could be considered by some as a
possible conflict of interest.
One could feasibly assume that lo -
cal builders may do very well with
another new subdivision on Phillip
I do hope that any councillors in-
volved in a vote on this, should it ever
come before council, ensure they have
studied the relevant conflict of inter-
est sections within the Local Govern-
ment Act 1989. By the way it’s section
77A to 81, should they wish to study
up over the holiday break.
Stephen Peppard Cape Woolamai.
Thanks to our
We write to express our concern and
sympathy for the two families who lost
their homes in the house fires at Wim-
bledon Heights on Christmas Day.
May we as a caring community get
behind these two families to help
them on their road to recovery?
We also write to give our utmost
gratitude to the fire crews (of which
there were several) from the South
Gippsland CFA region.
We thank you people for the fact
that, thanks to your hard work and
sacrifice, you stopped the flames from
engulfing our house which was right
next door to the two houses that were
destroyed by the fire.
Thanks to your hard work and tire-
less efforts we sustained only minor
damage from the flames.
We pray that all of you CFA crews
will be blessed with a fantastic year
Once again, thank you, thank you,
Terry and Robyn Holman, Wim-
Planning for crowds
I was disappointed to see the Cowes
Foreshore rubbish bins over flowing
on New Year’s Day.
Hundreds of people had gathered
for the 9.30pm fireworks on NYE
(which were cancelled with no notice).
Surely when a large advertised event
like this is planned an extra rubbish
collection should have been arranged
for New Year’s Day.
The fireworks should have gone
ahead as weather conditions were
good. It is time Bass Coast Shire
looked after Phillip Island and its res-
idents and visitors.
It also should use social media to let
us know what is going on.
Sue M, Silverleaves (name sup-
(Editor’s note: The fireworks were
not cancelled. Their duration was
What a shame!
A pleasant walk along the coast at
Cat Bay was ruined by finding 84 golf
Are the persons who leave these
balls not able to walk down the stairs
and collect them? Do they think our
wildlife need a change of diet?
It is very important that our Island
remains green and rubbish free for
Virginia Stelzer, Smiths Beach.
Thank you for your help
Ben, Cobi, Keyah and Beau would
like to thank all the CFA members
who volunteered on Christmas Day
when fire broke out in our home.
Many thanks to The Seahorse Mo-
tel for kindly donating accommo-
dation, San Remo and Cowes IGA,
Cowes Coles and Woolworths, Cowes
BP, Deboruccis One By One, Pak N
Tackle, Island Shoes, Bunyip Meats,
Cowes Bakers Delight, San Remo
Bendigo Bank, The Fat Seagull.
And a big thank you to our family,
friends and the Phillip Island commu-
nity for all your kind words, support
and donations to help get us back on
Ben Miles and Cobi Franklin-
Foley, Wimbleton Heights
Start by cutting
your own salaries
Reading our local paper I see that
Bass Coast Councillors have fired the
opening salvo as they attempt to punch
through the Fair Go rates cap so that
they can continue to slug the commu-
nity with excessive rate increases.
And to shake the confidence of rate-
payers, they’ve immediately wheeled
out those predictable old ‘frighteners’
namely, cuts to services and job losses.
The CEO is reported as saying “it’s
time for the community to make some
tough decisions” pertaining to where ex-
penditure is targeted.
Well I reckon that our elected council-
lors would do well to start with some
tough decisions pertaining to the exor-
bitant remuneration packages granted
to the CEO and his executive staff.
And believe me, there is widespread
community opinion that the council
CEO and executives are too highly re-
For example, here are some excerpts
from the Local Government Minister’s
“Minister for Local Government, Nat-
alie Hutchins, has cautioned local coun-
cils against using the Government’s fair
go rate cap as an excuse to cut vital staff
and services, while they continue to
waste money on excessive executive pay
and councillor spending.
“Councils need to put a stop to over-
the-top executive pay rises and needless
BCSC wants to raise rates by an av-
erage of 4.7% this year. Because of
the differential rating system, that will
translate to an increase of around 6% or
more for residential ratepayers.
In other words, residential ratepayers
are likely to be slugged with increases of
more than four times the current infla-
To get this through, BCSC will need to
have demonstrated extensive consulta-
tion with local communities.
The council CEO believes that Bass
Coast has already done that, and is
quoted as saying: “We had a fairly com-
prehensive consultation around the
development of our long-term financial
plan during the past 12 months, and
we’ve continued to do additional con-
sultation through workshops.”
What absolute nonsense!
Having attended many council meet-
ings over the last 12 months, I’ve repeat-
edly attempted to get assurances from
councillors that they would hold rate in-
creases to the inflation level, only to be
fobbed off with referral to some future
In separate communications with
councillors it has become quite appar-
ent that they will strongly resist the rate
cap, regardless of community objection
to their continued rate gouging. Well
here we are. It’s LTFP review crunch
time for our elected councillors.
The CEO has now served up his list of
frighteners to councillors.
The question is whether they will
meekly follow his lead and once again
inflict excessive increases on ratepayers,
or will they do what they are charged by
the community to do and lead the CEO
so that this council starts living within
These councillors need to get their
house in order, and to stop behaving
like spoiled children who think that
they can summon our money at will, as
if it grows on trees.
Council hasn’t yet announced any
community forum, but I hope to see you
there when it happens.
Kevin Griffin, Inverloch.
Dusty roads a health issue
It is with a complete sense of frustra-
tion that I seek space to raise the matter
of excessive and unhealthy dust on one
of our much used but unsealed roads,
being The Esplanade at Sunderland
This section of road, and the intersect-
ing Anglers Road, was previously sealed
by Council as an experiment to sup-
press the dust problem along the fore-
shore and the surrounding estate.
Whilst it successfully stopped the vol-
ume of dust in the area, the sealed road
was allowed to deteriorate without a
follow-up secondary sealing to the point
where pot holes formed creating a road
To their credit, Council arranged for
these pot-holes to be filled in with mate-
rial applied from a shovel, but without
The pot-holes soon returned requiring
However, the presence of these pot
holes had the effect of slowing traffic
down to an acceptable speed as motor-
ists attempted to avoid them.
Then much to the annoyance of per-
manent ratepayers, of which I am one,
Council ripped up the remaining section
of sealed road along the busiest section
of Sunderland Bay’s Esplanade and An-
glers Road and returned these to gravel.
A similar busy section of The Es-
planade, in Surf Beach, has not been
ripped up, as too, has a section of The
Esplanade towards its end in Sunder-
Where’s the consistency in this in
If one section of The Esplanade in
Sunderland Bay is deemed worthy of
being sealed; why not all of it, especially
the busiest section of it from Sunder-
land Bay Road where the volume of
traffic has increased substantially and
• Seeking to access the island’s south-
ern foreshore and,
• Seeking to view Bass Strait before
peeling off into the broader Sunderland
I have written to our representative, Cr
Phil Wright, in the form of the attached
email, and he has not even had the cour-
tesy to acknowledge receipt of the same
let alone provide a response.
My wife and I attended a recent meet-
ing of Council representatives and a
number of ratepayers, at which our con-
cerns were voiced.
Cr Wright’s response was to pose
the question: “what was your road like
when you first bought the property?”
It is true the road was unsealed when
we purchased the property, some 20
years ago, but that was at a time when
there was very little traffic using The Es-
planade in Sunderland Bay.
Now, as our estate has been ‘discov-
ered’ and seemingly more ratepayers
have moved into the area, the volume of
traffic along these unsealed sections is
In fact, a lot of visitors to the island
seek access to the southern shoreline of
Sunderland Bay only to find there is no
way out along the coast and simply turn
around and come back to Sunderland
Thus further increasing the volume of
traffic and creating huge dust problems
in the process as they rush to investigate
other parts of the island.
Dust problems aside, there are many
more pedestrians and cyclists using the
Sunderland Bay Esplanade that are now
exposed to fast moving vehicles losing
traction and control on the gravel sur-
In this day and age, the Council’s ap-
parent ‘head in the sand’ attitude about
dust problems in this area is just not
It’s pretty much Third World, in my
Goodness only knows what visitors
think of what is going on here.
I understand that council funds are
limited but, in the opinion of many rate-
payers in this area there is a compelling
argument for Council to recognise the
substantial increase in the volume of vis-
iting traffic in Sunderland Bay and to do
something about sealing certain roads
and slowing the traffic down along the
I am penning this in near 40 degrees
and I cannot open our windows to allow
fresh air into our home for fear of our
furnishings being ruined by the clouds
of dust that are stirred up all day every
We cannot even hang out the washing
outside, lest it is covered with dust.
We cannot enjoy a simple outdoor
meal with family or neighbours for fear
of being covered in clouds of dust from
Further, when there is an on-shore
breeze that blows Bass Strait mist onto
our home the dust simply adheres to
that moisture and prevents us from hav-
ing even a marginal view from our win-
Such was not the case during the pe-
riod when our section of The Esplanade
No doubt there are many others in our
neighbourhood who are experiencing
the same problem and no doubt some
of them are facing health problems, be
they mental or bronchial, as a conse-
John O’Brien, Sunderland Bay.
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