Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : March 9, 2016 Edition Contents PAGE 16 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2016
FORMER Planning Minister
Robert Maclellan, speaking at the
February council meeting, pointed
out an inconsistency in council
planning documents that could
have a serious affect financially on
a San Remo landholder.
He stated that the San Remo
Strategy Plan formerly adopted by
Bass Coast Shire Council shows
the Shetland Heights Golf Course
zoned under Recreation and Tour-
Yet Amendment C140 appears to
ignore this Township Strategy, and
does not reflect this fact, Mr Ma-
“ The two (documents) seem to be
in conflict as C140 has not shown
this area as a recreation and tour-
ism zone. Nine holes of golf seem
pretty touristy, ” he said.
Mr Maclellan, speaking during
question time at the council meet-
ing, prior to Amendment C140
being discussed by council, said
that $3 million had been spent
on earthworks for the nine hole
course at San Remo, and that this
substantial financial commitment
was made by the landholder, on
the basis of the Strategy Plan for
San Remo adopted by council.
“ What you have adopted, and
reaffirmed after five years, and
which has been relied upon by
landholders, now seems to have
been upended, ” he said.
Rural land use
Amendment C140 relates to
implementation of a Rural Land
Use Strategy which sets out the
long term vision for the shire’s ru-
ral land use. It was the subject of
discussion at the February shire
It supports maintenance of cur-
rent township boundaries, and
protection of rural land from in-
creased pressures of dwellings
and subdivision that do not sup -
port agricultural pursuits.
After an extensive period of con-
sultation, 44 submissions were
lodged in relation to the amend-
ment, with 34 objections to its
content, and just nine supporting
Nevertheless, an officer’s report
to councillors stated that 44 sub -
missions was considered to be a
low number, and therefore, coun-
cil officers consider that amend-
ment C140 “is generally supported
by the community”.
The fact that council was asked
to endorse the C140 position pa-
per in February, when a Phillip Is-
land and San Remo Tourism Strat-
egy is currently being developed by
consultants hired by council and
is also addressing rural land use
in relation to tourism opportuni-
ties that may present for rural
landholders, for presentation mid-
year, also raised eyebrows.
Nevertheless, rather than wait
four months until the Tourism
Strategy is completed, and its
findings in relation to rural tour-
ism are available, council pressed
on, although not unanimously.
Cr Clare Le Serve and Cr Phil
Wright refused to endorse the po -
sition paper presented.
Cr Neil Rankine supported the
document, stating that it aimed
to protect farming; it had tourism
benefits; and the consultative pro -
cess had been extensive.
He also said that while the via-
bility of farming “is dropping off ”,
that will change.
“Dairying will be a major factor
in the Bass Coast Shire, and will
be a vital industry into the future. ”
Cr Bradley Drew agreed.
But Cr Phil Wright said it did not
reflect the potential for rural land
use of the Bass Coast Shire.
He pointed out that the previous
rural strategy had six precincts to
reflect the diversity of rural life in
the shire, while the new one had
reduced the number of precincts
“How did that happen” he que -
“I t was part of the consultative
approach, ” w as the response from
Cr Wright persisted.
He said the strategy had been
hijacked by people who want the
shire to go back to the way it was
in the 1950s.
“Times have changed, ” he told
“There has not been enough op-
portunity for people to comment.
“There has not been sufficient
rigour around this strategy.
“This should be a rural land use
strategy. Not a farming strategy.
“There are some areas that can
have a different rural use than
Cr Clare Le Serve refused to
support the motion to endorse the
position paper for presentation to
an independent Planning Panel as
the council view, on the basis that
she objected to the inclusion of
RAZ (Rural Activity Zones).
(RAZs provide for other uses and
development, apart from farming,
in appropriate rural locations.)
At the end of the discussion,
Amendment C140 was endorsed
on a vote of 4-2 as the council po-
sition to go forward to an indepen-
dent Planning Panel for consider-
approach to planning
If 44 submissions on an is-
sue (in this case Amendment
C140) are lodged with council,
in response to their invitation
for community comment, and 34
are opposed to it with just nine
in favour, what conclusion would
you logically draw?
In the case of the Bass Coast
Shire Council, at its February
meeting, those numbers resulted
in council officers stating the fig-
ures were indicative that C140
was “considered to be generally
supported by the community”.
That was because the officer
considered 44 submissions to
be a low number.
In support of this statement,
the officer pointed out that an-
other amendment, C82 (Land
Subject to Inundation Overlay)
had attracted 140 submissions,
of which 128 were objections,
with eight in support and four
Council watchers will tell you
that 140 submissions is un-
usually high, and that 44 sub -
missions is a very respectable
number, when compared to the
Council officers recommended
against heeding C82’s 128 objec-
tors, in any case.
A Cowes resident has told council that she has observed hundreds of pedes-
trians, and children on bikes, walking or riding on the verge of the Rhyll Road
over summer, between Thompson Avenue and Coghlan Road, with vehicles
whizzing past at 80km/h, which is the speed allowed there.
The resident has appealed to council to reduce the speed limit for the safety
of residents in this growing residential area, and to consider construction of
but road still rural
THE major residential growth that
has occurred over the past 10 years
along the Rhyll Road between Thomp-
son Avenue and Coghlan Road has not
been reflected through appropriate ad-
justments to speed limits and signs, an
island ratepayer told Bass Coast Shire
councillors during question time at the
February Shire meeting.
The area bounded by the Rhyll Road,
Thompson Avenue, Coghlan Road and
Settlement Road has been heavily de-
veloped in the past decade, with hun-
dreds of homes built and families mov-
ing in, but there has been no change to
speed limits or pathway infrastructure
developed along the Rhyll Road to re-
Cowes resident Joanna Johnson, in a
question to council, expressed concern
over the current 80km/h speed limit in
place along this stretch, pointing out the
Rhyll Road from Coghlan Road is “fast
becoming one of the major roads into
and out of Cowes, especially when the
Phillip Island Tourist Road is heavy car-
rying holidaying traffic”.
“Freight trucks and heavy vehicles use
Coghlan Road and Ventnor Road as do
an increasing amount of residents, from
the Blue Gum and Shearwater Estates
that have appeared in the past decade.”
Ms Johnson told council that she had
watched lines of pedestrians walking on
both sides of the road side verge, esti-
mating numbers “in the hundreds, if not
She stated that parents with children
on foot and on bikes use the verge, with
traffic travelling past them at 80km/h.
Ms Johnson asked council to consid-
er reducing the speed limit on the Rhyll
Road between Thompson Avenue and
Coghlan Road, to reflect the changed
status of this area.
And she asked: “When is council likely
to put a pedestrian path along that sec-
tion of road?”
In response to the speed sign, Mayor
Cr Jordan Crugnale said that the nature
and development density of the area is
considered as “rural” and the level of
abutting development does not current-
ly warrant a speed reduction, according
to VicRoads guidelines.
“This situation may change over time
with more development and council will
continue to monitor and review this sit-
uation,” Cr Crugnale said.
In response to the path request, Cr
Crugnale said council is aware of the
need for such a path, and it has been
included in the long term pathways pro-
“Progress of path construction is de-
pendent on the ability to obtain funding
either through rate revenue, external
grants or developer contributions,” Cr
“External funding is more likely to be
gained for strategic path connections.”
Cr Crugnale said that currently, there
are path construction projects valued
at $40 million that have been identi-
fied as highly desirable across the shire,
but just $300,000 to $400,000 is avail-
able in each annual budget to construct
WONTHAGGI resident Les Larke
was interested to hear more about Bass
Coast Shire Council’s proposed new IT
He used question time at council’s
February meeting to state: $1.537 mil-
lion has been allocated in the current
council budget for implementation of a
new core information technology sys-
Mr Larke said he understood the
overall cost will be in the vicinity of $3
million, and given presumed productiv-
ity and other efficiencies, asked council
• The total amount in savings through
this implementation reflected in the
Shire’s Long Term Financial Plan, in to-
tal and by each financial year; and
• The breakdown of such savings,
in total and by each financial year in-
cluding the reduction in total full time
equivalent employees (number and sav-
ings) and any other savings. An answer
was not forthcoming, however.
Council’s fleet program
Mr Larke also wanted information in
relation to council’s fleet program.
He said $1.558 million has been al-
located in the current budget for an of-
fice based motor vehicle fleet renewal
He posed the following questions:
• Has a strategic fleet management
review been conducted, including a re-
view of policy, performance and effec-
tiveness of the fleet?
• Has council considered whether the
fleet can be reduced or services deliv-
ered with fewer vehicles?
• Is the fleet used solely for conduct
of council business?
• And a breakdown of the fleet to re-
flect number of fleet vehicles allocated
to each of the following categories;
councillors; CEO; four directors, and
number of employees and position cat-
egories where there has been an alloca-
tion of fleet vehicles.
Again, no response was forthcoming.
Mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale advised
Mr Larke that council is about to un-
dertake a formal review of its fleet man-
agement which will address the issues
Information regarding fleet statistics
will be collected at this time and pro-
vided to Mr Larke, Cr Crugnale stated.
Cr Crugnale added that it should be
noted that the fleet replacement pro-
gram has a budget of $615,000 for the
“The balance of the figure quoted by
Mr Larke relates to plant replacement
and bus replacement,” Cr Crugnale
Fair go rates cap
Wonthaggi ratepayer Kevin Griffin
urged council at the February shire
meeting to: “Do the right thing by the
community and make the rate cap deci-
Mr Griffin was referring to the con-
sultation process council has imple-
mented to ascertain the view of resi-
dents as to whether the shire should or
should not seek an exemption to a 2.5
per cent rate cap this year, as legislated
by the State Government.
Mr Griffin said that it had been made
clear that the decision relating to this
rests solely with councillors, and he
appealed to them to make the decision
immediately, rather than dragging pro-
cess into March.
He said a very clear message had been
sent to the council at all the consultative
meetings held across the shire, and a
petition being circulated had also been
given strong support, opposing any rate
increase beyond 2.5 per cent.
“Will you elected councillors now do
the decent and proper thing and con-
firm to the community that you have
listened, you have heard, that you now
get it, and that you will advise your CEO
that council is to work within the Fair
Go rate cap of 2.5 per cent,” Mr Grif-
Cr Crugnale responded by stating
that council was committed to see-
ing the rate cap consultative process
She said a report wwill be presented
to the March meeting of council, at
which council will decide on the issue,
and its rating levels for inclusion in the
draft 2016/17 budget.
Cape Woolamai Foreshore
Cape Woolamai Action Group used
question time at the February shire
meeting to ask a question relating to
the foreshore they care for, as no reply
to correspondence sent a month ago to
council had been forthcoming.
The question referred to advertising
and plans for the development of the
Woolamai House subdivision which
suggests that beach access is available
from the end of a proposed roadway.
The Action Group requested infor-
mation relating to current plans and
approvals for the construction of paths
through foreshore reserves, as there
is no access to the beach currently in
the location referred to, and such ac-
cess would necessitate a substantial
amount of vegetation removal.
The group asked that as the access
to the southern end of the estate is a
haphazard path through dunes run-
ning alongside a drainage outlet, is
there a plan for construction of a prop-
er path with signage, and if required,
path fencing and stairs.
Cr Crugnale responded by stating
that it is important to note that all
advertising states that beach access
plans are subject to council approval.
At this stage, no request for vegeta-
tion removal has been made to coun-
cil. Community comment will be in-
vited once an application is received,
Cr Crugnale said.
Cr Phil Wright used question time
at the February meeting of council,
to ask about the process of decid-
ing on the format of Australia Day on
Phillip Island for 2017.
Bass Coast Shire Council came
under fire from community mem-
bers for removal this year of the tra-
ditional elements of the community
celebration held annually in Cowes,
to a private council ceremony at a lo -
cal restaurant, for invitees only.
“What is the process for council to
decide on the venue and format for
the Australia Day activities on Phil-
lip Island in 2017?” Cr Wright que-
Cr Crugnale advised that council
officers, in liaison with the mayor,
will review citizenship arrangements
for Australia Day.
She said that all other Australia
Day activities are community- organ-
ised and subject to normal review
processes associated with council’s
support for such events.
Cr Crugnale said that Australia
Day ambassadors are specifically
appointed for council events.
“We are looking at whether an am-
bassador can be used at the Rotary
event, ” she said.
For the past couple of decades,
Australia Day in Cowes has been a
shared Rotary and Council produc-
tion, with an Australia Day Ambas-
sador always an honoured guest.
In an unheralded change to ar-
rangements this year, council re -
moved itself, the citizenship cer-
emony, and the Australia Day
ambassador program from the Ro -
tary function, in favour of present-
ing them to a small, private and
ratepayer-funded celebration for 60
invited guests at Cape Kitchen, out-
Council answers our questions
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