Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : January 27, 2016 Edition Contents PAGE 6 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2016
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Fire fears across the bay
Many residents on Phillip Island’s south coast were alarmed last week by the
huge pall of smoke that could be seen pluming into the sky, to the point of call-
ing emergency services to see if a bushfire was burning on Phillip Island. The fire
as we all now know was across the bay at Crib Point, but such was the response
locally that CFA Communications felt it necessary to issue an advice message to
residents of Wimbledon Heights, Ventnor, Beachcomber Estate, Smiths Beach,
Sunset Strip, Cowes, Summerlands, Sunderland Bay, Silverleaves, Rhyll, inform-
ing them that the fire was burning at Crib Point, and that smoke would be visible
from nearby communities.
While there was a safe five kilometre wide stretch of bay between Cowes
and the devastating bushfire that descended on Crib Point, and this was
obvious to beachgoers on the island’s north coast, it looked far too close for
comfort from the south side of Phillip Island.
Cowes, for example, is closer geographically to Crib Point, than it is to
many island locations.
As photographer Lisa Shonberg remarked, when forwarding this photo
through to the Advertiser to use: “It was very sad to see such a fast moving
fire and the irony of tourists swimming and watching Crib Point burn. (The
speed of the fire) makes me realise how vulnerable we are here on the island
at this time of year.”
PINP final meeting for 2015
THE Phillip Island Nature Parks
Board met on Thursday, December
17 to review several key projects,
evaluate visitation figures, acknowl-
edge the Nature Parks’ world leading
research team, and discuss issues
around domestic cats.
Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies
Centre: Phillip Island’s newest at-
traction, the Antarctic Journey at the
Nobbies Centre, opened to the public
on Monday, December 14 ahead of its
official launch on Wednesday, Decem-
Board members visited the new
attraction and were thrilled to expe-
rience the interactive activities and
multimedia displays first-hand. The
Board was delighted that this world-
class addition to the Nature Parks’
range of attractions was delivered on
time and on budget.
RACV partnership: Since the open-
ing of the new Penguins Plus and
Underground Viewing experiences in
November, this flagship of the Nature
Parks’ partnership with RACV has
been sold out every night. Visitor feed-
back has been overwhelmingly posi-
tive, with a discernible trend that visi-
tors are remaining in the viewing area
much longer than they had previously.
The board was also pleased to note
that domestic visitation numbers at-
tributable directly to the partnership
with RACV had increased significantly.
Island Explorer Bus: The free Is-
land Explorer Bus service will oper-
ate until March 13 as a pilot project
sponsored by Phillip Island Nature
Parks, Bass Coast Shire Council, Phil-
lip Island RSL and Destination Phillip
The board is delighted to be work-
ing collaboratively with these local
community organisations to deliver
this project which, in addition to the
obvious environmental benefits of
minimising vehicle traffic, will also
enhance the already impressive range
of services on the island, and has the
potential to offer ongoing benefits to
both visitors and locals alike.
Dr Peter Dann
The board congratulated and ac-
knowledged Research Manager, Dr
Peter Dann on his 35 years of service
with Phillip Island Nature Parks.
Peter’s significant contributions to
ongoing research on Phillip Island
have been critical to the success of the
Nature Parks’ conservation and envi-
ronment management efforts.
The board further congratulated
Peter on his international recognition,
having been named in the top 5% of
over 8 million researchers worldwide
who have had their peer-reviewed re-
Dr Andre Chiaradia
The International Union for Conser-
vation of Nature (IUCN) recently cre-
ated a Penguin Specialist Group and
has invited Nature Parks’ Dr Andre
Chiaradia on board as an executive
member. Andre was selected for his
proven expertise in foraging ecology,
trophic interactions, food webs, eco -
system ecology and penguins in par-
The Board congratulated Andre on
his appointment and noted the future
benefits for the Nature Parks in terms
of furthering our own research as well
as global reputation.
Destination Phillip Island
The Board was delighted to wel-
come the Honourable John Pandazo-
poulos as the newly appointed Chair
of Destination Phillip Island.
Mr Pandazopoulos served as Minis-
ter for Tourism and Major Events for
seven years, and will bring his politi-
cal and leadership experience, along
with his enthusiasm and passion for
regional tourism to this role.
The Board acknowledged the con-
tribution since 2013 of Destination
Phillip Island’s founding Chair, Fergus
Mr Cameron will remain on the
Board with a specific focus on events.
Animal ethics committee: Dr Jenny
Hibble, Chair of the Animal Ethics
Committee, submitted the commit-
tee’s annual report to the Board.
Dr Hibble praised the work being
done by the Nature Parks on feral
cats, however also raised the commit-
tee’s ongoing concern regarding do-
mestic cats on Phillip Island. While all
cats are required to be microchipped,
registered with the Bass Coast Shire
Council and contained within owners’
properties, there is no policing of do-
Dr Hibble commented: “We live in
an amazing environment, and need to
protect our wildlife.”
“My ideal world would be one in
which people either confine their cats
to an indoor life, or build an outdoor
run which allows a safe outdoor envi-
ronment for the cats, without interfer-
ing with our wildlife.
“People need to be encouraged to do
the right thing and educated about the
risks of allowing their cats to roam
freely. Not only do free roaming cats
have a negative impact on our wildlife,
they also contribute significantly to
the spread of Feline Aids virus.”
The board expressed its concern
regarding these issues and agreed
that an integrated approach between
Phillip Island Nature Parks and Bass
Coast Shire Council should be pur-
sued as a matter of priority.
Your questions focus of
Community Plus meeting
THE summer break is over and it
is now back to work for Community
The first meeting of the year will be
held at Newhaven on February 1 at
2015 ended with a record crowd to
hear presentations by consultants for
the airport and Beachcomber Coastal
The first meeting for 2016 has no
guest speakers. This is a first. It is
all about giving all attendees plenty of
time to express their opinions.
What is wrong with Council?
Why does council get such poor
We all think we know the answer,
but let’s compare.
Is it roads, rates and rubbish?
Maybe traffic management, tourism
problems or the moving town bound-
No policing of dogs on beaches or is
it too strict?
Is the new bureaucracy a secret club
that keeps people out?
Is it a strong group that will deliver
despite the state government rate cap?
Can councillors control the group?
Does council ever deliver anything
other than strategies that sit on the
How can coastal groups get control
of their reserves and protect and en-
hance the native vegetation?
Why can’t council stop coastal prop-
erties from claiming and mowing re-
Who is responsible for protecting
the hooded plovers?
Will 2016 see the delivery of mean-
ingful strategies for: Natural Environ-
ment, Economic, Tourism and Rural
Land by council, and Woolamai Key
Activity centre by PINP?
Why is the Explorer bus always
How much did council contribute
and who decided on a large bus, fixed
timetable and route to businesses?
Why not a smaller bus to beaches?
This is an election year. Are all seven
councillors going to be voted out in
Or can they listen next Monday and
deliver on what the community really
Will revised ward boundaries and
an extra two councillors reduce com-
Who decides when the main street
can be closed and where it is best to
spend fireworks allowance? Did JJJ
Top 100 work?
Can we prevent erosion at east
Will Port of Hasting go ahead and
destroy all of north coast and fish
stocks? Come along and speak up.
By Cr Phil Wright
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