Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : February 10,2016 Edition Contents PAGE 8 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016
Wednesday 24 February
550 Back Beach Rd, Ventnor
10.00am - 3.00pm
Resilience Through Diversity Field Day
Learn how to develop resilience to climate change by diversifying your farm business.
Hear from organic farmer and teacher at the National Environment Centre (NEC) in Albury,
Rob Fenton, and innovative environmental practioner and local farmer, Steve Davie.
The event will be held at Steve’s farm, Bimbadeen - renowned for its award winning premium
quality beef and is the first and only commercial free range egg producer on Phillip Island.
Bookings for this free event are essential and must be received before 19 February.
Phone Jill Vella on 0408 208 350 or go to
Entries are now open for the annual
Sustainability Festival Recycled Art
Exhibition. Entries must be created
from at least 80% recycled materials
and embody the theme:
Plastic does not go away
Primary, Secondary, Open (18+) and
People’s Choice categories.
To enter, please download an entry form at
Entries must be submitted by 7 March
Exhibition runs 12 March - 17 April
Coal Creek Community Park & Museum
Recycled art exhibition 2016
ENTRIES are now open for the annual
Sustainability Festival Recycled Art Ex-
The exhibition provides a chance for
local residents to demonstrate their cre -
ative skills by designing a piece of art-
work using 80% recycled materials.
This year’s theme is “Plastic does not
go away” which provides budding art-
ists with a broad theme to work with
and an important message to promote.
The exhibition is supported by South
Gippsland and Bass Coast shire coun-
cils and will run from March 12 until
April 17 at the Coal Creek Community
Park and Museum Gallery in Korum-
Winners will be announced at the
Southern Gippsland Sustainability Fes-
tival at Coal Creek on April 3.
“This year’s exhibition theme is partic-
ularly important considering Australia
is one of the world’s highest producers
of waste, per person, in the world, ” said
Skye Radcliffe -Scott, South Gippsland
Shire Council’s Environment Officer.
“Plastic is used regularly in our daily
lives but it can be very damaging to the
“While it can be recycled, much of
the plastic created is not recycled due
to littering, difficultly in collecting it or
need for dismantling of products for re-
“Breaking the plastic habit is impor-
tant,” added Ms Radcliffe-Scott.
Entrants are encouraged to use re-
cycled products and to transform them
into something unique.
All age groups are encouraged to par-
ticipate, with prizes being awarded in
Primary (0–13 years), Secondary (14-17
years) and Open (18 and above) catego -
There will also be a People’s Choice
category for the most popular exhibition
“The exhibition is such an inspiring
project to work on.
“Artists of all ages and all walks of life
create beautiful and thoughtful pieces
for all to enjoy, ” said Ms Radcliffe-Scott.
“We hope that it also gives everyone that
views the artwork a sense of how our pur-
chasing choices can impact the future of
our environment and community.”
To find out more, please visit www.
sustainabilityfestival.com.au or www.
Entries for the Recycled Art Exhibi-
tion must be received by March 7.
The traditional red and gold decorations of the Chinese New Year provide a warm welcome to the thou-
sands of Chinese tourists who are expected to visit the Phillip Island Nature Parks during the festive
month of February.
Chinese New Year
THE start of the Chinese New
Year also heralds one of the busi-
est and most profitable times of
the year for the Island’s largest
employer, the Phillip Island Na-
ture Parks (PINP).
This is when the greatest num-
ber of Chinese tourists come to
our shores and celebrates their
new year by visiting our world re-
nowned natural attractions.
In February, the nature parks is
expecting up to 35,000 Chinese
tourists to visit. This number is
indicative of the steady growth in
the Chinese market that PINP is
It is a trend that is increasing at
a rate of 20 per cent over recent
years, and it’s expected to contin-
ue to grow.
“C hina is our No.1 market, ” said
Matt Jackson, Phillip Island Na-
ture Parks CEO.
“I t is also number one in the Vic-
torian tourism market,” he said.
“Up until June 2015 we hosted
145,000 Chinese tourists and this
year (till June 2016) we are fore-
casting 165,000 tourists, ” he said.
A significant factor in this
growth is that nature parks now
has full time agents based in the
two main centres, Beijing and
Shanghai. This has been the case
“Having our agents based in the
country is paying dividends as
China is a very competitive play-
er in the world market,” said the
“I t is a very mature market and
is the largest outward bound
country in global tourism.”
The demographics of these tour-
ists are also changing. More and
more are coming from the middle
class sector, and from across the
whole of the nation.
The low Australian dollar is
enticing people to go on holidays
such as these as they are more af-
fordable and highly attractive.
These tourists include a mix of
family groups, often generational,
and individual travellers. They are
either on a package holiday or are
FITs as the industry calls them –
free independent travellers. That
is they organise their own travel
arrangements including length of
stay, accommodation and sight-
Some come for a day’s out-
ing which includes a visit to the
Koalas, Nobbies and ending with
the Penguin Parade while others
choose to stay for a few days and
take in as many of the sights as
Their presence is also a boost
to the local economy, particularly
with an increase in overnight stay
accommodation in the past few
years, and many local providers
being fully booked during this
new year period.
While these two groups differ,
they do have one thing in common
they come to see the penguins.
“Travelling to Phillip Island is a
lifetime experience for many of the
Chinese, and seeing the penguins
is on their bucket list, ” s aid Matt
The Phillip Island Nature Parks
embraces the Chinese New Year by
welcoming these visitors with red
and gold decorations and symbols
of the Year of the Monkey.
It is also running a variety of
promotional activities during the
coming month starting with a spe -
cial range of retail products highly
suitable for this market, multi-
buy type offers, welcome signs,
Chinese speaking Rangers at the
Penguin Parade and the new Ant-
arctic Journey and China Union
Pay facilities across all its sites.
The newly opened Antarctic
Journey attraction at the Nobbies
is expected to be a drawcard with
the Chinese tourists who are at-
tracted to the panda logo on this
WWF (World Wide Fund for Na-
ture) venture and its global focus
on wildlife conservation.
Future industries, innovation, renew-
ables and jobs were the focus of our round
table meeting with the Victorian Premier,
The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, and Member
for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing MLC,
With both numbers and time limited, the
objective was to give the Premier an over-
view of what is happening in the shire and
highlight both the opportunities and chal-
lenges we face as a shire and region.
One such focus was the need for a long-
term strategy for the development of Won-
thaggi as a thriving model and regional
centre through the prism of all four pillars
of sustainability - economy, environment,
community and culture. With current and
projected growth, Wonthaggi needs a holis-
tic and integrated plan.
With Plan Melbourne and the Gippsland
Regional Growth Plan identifying Wonthaggi
as the regional population and employment
growth centre, everything hinges on this
centre to support the region. Big retailers
are moving in, game changing investments
are starting to happen, and construction is
a big employer in the region and continuing
With literally only a 45-minute window,
I thought it was more productive to have
some key figures, leaders, progressive
thinkers and business owners give an over-
view of what they were doing here in the
shire, their challenges and opportunities
Representatives in attendance included
CEOs, directors and business and commu-
nity leaders all working together to bring
out the best in our shire, for both the short
and long term.
This translated to representation from
education, health, agriculture, tourism,
construction, business, environment, clean
energy and food security – progressive
thinkers and doers that are making a dif-
ference in their chosen sector.
A highlight was they all chatted amongst
themselves and making connections when
the Premier left to visit to the Cape Paterson
Surf Life Saving Club.
We used this visit to demonstrate that
building jobs and developing our local
economy reiterates that link, caring for and
improving our local environment and car-
ing for our young people and improving
We look at our youth statistics and com-
pare them to metro, state and regional av-
erages and they are higher almost at every
turn; teenage pregnancy, school retention,
disengagement and homelessness to name
Interestingly, skilled labour workforce
was a challenge for many who were present.
By default, if you were to do a plan for jobs,
including business attraction and employ-
ment strategy, you would by default have
changes to education, health and housing.
As Albert Einstein said, to do the same
thing over and over and expect different re-
sults is insanity. We as a community and so-
ciety do need to chuck a lot out, as it doesn’t
work and never will, no matter how many
times you try and reword, retweak and re-
There are limitations without a plan and
it is time that government gets behind this
town and region and commits to capital
and social investment.
If we distil this all down to an essence it is
articulated in an African proverb:
‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you
want to go far, go together.’
The Premier has committed to working
with Council and making available the rel-
evant Ministers to ensure that community
priorities can be progressed. As a first step,
he has advised that he will arrange for a
number of Ministers to spend some time in
Bass Coast as a group within three months
to ensure they are well aware of the chal-
lenges and opportunities we face.
I look forward to hosting these Ministers
and taking advantage of these opportuni-
ties to build our relationship with the state
government for the betterment of our Shire.
Mayoral column By Cr Jordan Crugnale, Mayor
Bass Coast Shire Council
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