Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : August 31, 2016 Contents PAGE 4 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2016
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Young blood in council election
MIKHAELA Barlow may be the youngest
candidate in the upcoming Bass Coast council
elections but, she says, that doesn’t mean she
“Yes, I’m young, and yes I might not have ex-
perience in my own business however I do have
experience in council,” says the 18-year-old,
who will be 19 come election time.
Mikhaela lives at Cape Woolamai with her fa-
ther Gareth - whom locals may remember as a
former Bass Coast Shire councillor.
“When I was 11 I had cardiac issues and
when I came out of hospital I wasn’t able to go
to school so I went with Dad to council forums,
ceremonies, functions and meetings with local
“Most of the people there thought I was co-
louring in or reading but I was paying attention
to how it all works.”
She says from her experience too many coun-
cillors start in the role promising major chang-
es in a short time.
“I know that’s not how the system works. It’s
all about writing policy and that takes a long
“And I want to say just because I’m my fa-
ther’s daughter, that doesn’t mean I agree with
everything he says. My ideas are my own.”
Standing as a candidate in the Westernport
ward, Mikhaela says she finished school in
Year 10 and now works in two part-time roles:
writing post-Gothic fantasy online and as a pri-
vate carer for patients with psychiatric disor-
ders and disabilities.
Since the age of 14 she has volunteered at
the Vietnam Veterans Museum, where Gareth
is a member.
Mikhaela couldn’t give specific examples of
current shire policies to praise or criticise, but
gives the current council a 6.5 out of 10 be-
cause they have been too “hesitant and tenta-
“They don’t want to upset anyone, but if you
do nothing you still upset people.”
Her election platform will focus on the envi-
ronment, especially coastal erosion and plan-
ning policies for new housing “to ensure every
single building is built as environmentally-
friendly as possible”.
While she doesn’t support Phillip Island’s
Stand Alone campaign, if an expert report sup-
ported secession she would support Stand
She believes there needs to be a greater fo-
cus on jobs in the IT sector, while there also
needs to be improved surfing facilities – similar
to those offered for football and netball – to at-
tract international tourism.
A bike path from Cowes to Grantville would
also be a boon for the region.
Mikhaela admits she is not sports-focused,
but has an interest in the arts, saying the area
should better showcase its artistic talents.
Youth also need to get a better hearing, she
“The older candidates know nothing of the
needs of younger people.
“Yes, the shire has a youth committee but
that needs to stop existing.
“Young people need to be involved in every-
thing the shire is involved in – sports, the arts,
economic decisions. Just because we’re young
doesn’t mean we aren’t part of the community.”
Mikhaela can be contacted on mikhaelabar-
email@example.com or at 0437 840 799.
Facebook page is at Mikhaela Barlow for
Hooded plover strategy
BASS Coast Shire Council is developing a
strategy to protect the endangered hooded plo-
ver on Phillip Island and on mainland locations
in the shire, and has engaged a consultant to
The consultant has engaged with local com-
munity groups who work together to protect
the hooded plover, as well as PINP and Parks
Victoria, and a final draft of the strategy will
be presented to the September 21 meeting of
An interim report from council officers pre-
sented at last week’s shire meeting stated that a
single strategy would be drafted, but with sepa-
rate action plans for the two geographic areas
of Phillip Island and the Bass Coast prepared.
Two long established volunteer community
groups have been working in Bass Coast Shire
to protect the hooded plover and increase
breeding and fledgling survival.
Council has budgeted $7500 this year to as-
sist this work, which will include seasonal on
ground works and signage, cordoning off nest-
ing areas, and community education.
Cr Phil Wright believes that council should
be doing more to protect the birds, and was
critical of the sessions conducted by the con-
“The consultants held four sessions. What
did the sessions deliver?
“We have done nothing.”
“And now we are told we are being held up by
“The birds have already arrived,” he protest-
He asked council to agree to facilitate four
public meetings over the next four weeks, in
Cowes and at Wonthaggi, to discuss options for
the protection of the nesting birds.
His colleagues did not support the request.
“This is a disaster. All we have done is talk,
Councillors will wait to receive the consul-
tant’s report at the September 21 meeting, to
further consider a Hooded Plover Strategy.
The consultant engaged to carry out commu-
nity consultation and prepare the draft Hood-
ed Plover Strategy was ECube. The cost was
$11,814.03 including GST.
A report on adoption of a strategy to protect the endangered hooded plover will go before
the September council meeting.
Eighteen year old Mikhaela Barlow, of Cape Woolamai, will be the youngest candidate at
October’s council elections
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