Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : March 2, 2016 Edition Contents PAGE 14 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
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RESIDENTS of Kallay Drive Pioneer Bay are
like prisoners in their own homes, not being
able to leave doors and windows open, thanks
to the actions of the Bass Coast Council, who
decided to turn a perfectly good stretch of road
(see attached photo) into a “traditional dirt
road” (see attached photo), which in turn cre-
ated a dust bowl and a health hazard.
Even with keeping all doors and windows
closed, houses affected are inundated daily by
clouds of fine dust billowing from the road.
This results in higher electricity costs for hav-
ing to use air conditioning for cooling, higher
water bills for having to wash down cars every
morning before using them; and hosing the
dust from their properties to remove the dust
that envelops their properties on a daily basis;
as well as to clean dust from the inside of their
homes almost every day.
This started early last year, when Bass Coast
Shire Council advised residents that the road had
deteriorated to the stage where it was “unsafe”.
Despite objections from residents of Pioneer
Bay, the council proceeded with this action.
A Bass Coast Shire officer stated at a council
information session held at the Grantville Com-
munity Hall that to repair the road is like put-
ting paint on rotten wood.
However when the council tried to rip up the
“rotten wood”, they were unable to do so.
Does the officer know the difference between
“Rotten Wood and Petrified Wood” as the best
the contracted grader could do was to scratch
grooves in the surface (see attached photo).
The surface was so hard the grader driver was
seen pouring water on the red hot grader blade
to cool it down.
The workmen then proceeded to put fine ma-
terial over the solid road (a sample of this mate-
rial was taken by residents).
Local residents Clive and Pauline Ringshaw
state they heard a workman commenting “this
is not the right material”.
The man was allegedly told by his supervisor
“to shut up and get on with the job”.
Upon completion of reformation of the road,
it was in such a bad state that many residents
could not get in or out of their driveways and
were forced to shovel large amounts of gravel to
do so. Residents complained to council about
the camber of the road, and drainage, but no
remedial work was ever done.
An independent road structural engineer in-
spected Kallay Drive at the request of residents.
His subsequent report to Bass Coast CEO
Paul Buckley saw the shire return to Kallay
Drive, and shape the road in accordance with
the independent engineer’s recommendation.
A request to council’s Department of Infra-
structure for cost of the work undertaken was
met with the response: We don’t know, it was
done under the maintenance budget.
Residents estimate the cost to be in excess of
$30,000, not including the original work under-
taken to return the road back to an unmade state.
The reason given by council for returning Kal-
lay Drive to an unmade state was that it was too
expensive to maintain as a dust seal road, when
compared to maintenance of a gravel road.
A letter from Infrastructure Director Felicity
Sist in January 2014 provided the following fig-
ures. Cost of maintaining current dust seal on
Kallay Drive: $6000 per km (Kallay Drive is less
than one kilometre in length). Maintenance of a
gravel road: $1065.per annum.
We note these figures were readily available,
but council was unable to provide figures relat-
ing to the cost of rectifying the mess they made
of Kallay Drive, even though both were carried
out under the “maintenance Budget”.
Also there has been considerable costs since
this fiasco started which would far exceed the
cost of maintaining the section of road with the
seal still intact.
How is it that one cost can be provided, and
the other cannot?
Back in 2005, council minutes show that the
reason given to “dust seal” Kallay Drive and
other roads in the shire was because the dust
generated on these roads was deemed to be a
health and safety issue.
Eleven years on, and with a far greater vol-
ume of traffic and residents using the road, the
health and safety issue identified is no longer a
concern of the council. Even though there are
many reports on the serious health risks that
dust particles present to those exposed to them
(Australian Government Department of the En-
viroment, National Pollutant Inventory Particu-
late matter (Pm10 and Pm2.5).
When this dust seal was first put down, it was
supposed to have lasted to 2012, and then Kal-
lay Drive was supposed to have been upgraded
to the standard of a “made road.”
The fact is, the dust seal on the section they
ripped up Kallay Drive did not fail.
It is the Bass Coast Shire Council that has
failed to follow its own time frame.
Furthermore, Council is now talking 2018 for
The cost of building the road will have in-
creased substantially over this period.
Is the Council going to cover the cost of the
increase to home owners? I doubt it.
To the contrary, they are trying to convince
ratepayers into accepting a rate increase over
and above the rate cap the State Government
has put in place.
Why has the State Government put this cap
Simply to make councils more responsible in
This Council has demonstrated on various
occasions that it is not responsible in financial
If it can’t balance its books with the money it
receives at present, maybe it should look at the
wages bills and the amounts it is paying to se-
In one particular case one member of staff re-
ceived a bonus of approximately $20,000.
This is more than most retired residents have
to live on in total all year.
It is also interesting to see the attitude of other
Councils to the dust issue.
In the Latrobe Shire I have been told that one
person complained about dust entering their
property from an unmade laneway.
Council sealed it.
The Shire of Casey acknowledges the issue of
dust, and uses a dust seal to address the problem.
In comparison, the Bass Coast Council dem-
onstrates an arrogant disregard for health and
safety issues affecting some ratepayers.
Clive and Pauline Renshaw offered to pay per-
sonally to have the seal maintained on the sec-
tion that was destroyed, on a one off basis, but
were ignored by council.
On a personal basis, my water usage has dou-
bled since the road has been returned to “grav-
el” (I use tank water for watering my garden).
This is through attempting to remove or mini-
mize the impact of dust on my property, hosing
down the building and having to wash the dust
from my vehicle each time I use it.
I also have a health issue (which can be veri-
fied by my doctor) which is made substantially
worse by the dust.
Whereas it would be normal to clean your
house weekly, I have to have mine cleaned top
to bottom every other day, just to keep the dust
down to a manageable level.
Despite having the following members from
the Council, Paul Buckley CEO, Cr Neil Rankine
(Mayor at the time) and Cr Clare Le Serve to in-
spect the impact on myself and other residents,
and although agreeing that there is a problem, all
made the same response that it would be rectified
when with the introduction of a special charge
private street scheme, scheduled for 2018.
In other words, “just put up with it”.
Furthermore it beggars belief that the Council is
currently advertising for the position of “Commu-
nity Health and Wellbeing Administration Officer,
while on the other hand they have created a Com-
munity Health issue, which they refuse to address.
The Council needs to understand that its role
is to serve and maintain community needs, and
not that the ratepayers are there to serve the
needs of the Council.
As a result of not being able to get a satisfactory
outcome from the Council I have refused to pay
the “Developed Land Rate” component of my rate
bill, but have paid the Garbage and Fire Levy.
I will withhold payment until council rectify
the problem they have created
I firmly believe that the additional costs I have
incurred and described above has cost me more
than the general rate charge.
BY LAW: If you identify a problem and then
fail to contain the problem you are considered
negligent and therefore liable.
Residents took this photo of the shire spreading dirt on the dust seal surface after they tried
to rip it up.
Prisoners in our own homes
ABOVE. This is a photo of Kallay Drive in Pioneer Bay, before it was destroyed by the council. LEFT ABOVE. Residents contend
with the dust now generated by traffic (pictured) in Kallay Drive, after the road was ripped up by Bass Coast Shire Council.
A grader is pictured attempting to rip up the dust sealed
surface on Kallay Drive, returning it to a ‘traditional’ road.
By Michael Thomas
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