Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : January 5, 2017 Contents THE ADVERTISER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2017 - PAGE 19
look at Germany
Bernie McComb’s recent comments
on speed signs posted along the Phil-
lip Island Tourist Road is not far from
the current practice in Germany.
There it is the absence of many
signs that is a reason why visitors
from Down Under may be caught and
fined for speed infringements.
There are eight 60kpm signs in Kil-
cunda, 14 in San Remo, 18 in Smith’s
Beach, six for the Koala reserve.
In Germany these would all be re-
placed with a township sign. The
Township sign (e.g. “Smiths Beach”
and “Smiths Beach” with a diagonal
red line through it) would be suf-
ficient to advise motorists that the
speed limit within the town boundary
is set at 50kph; the open or urban
road would then revert to 80kph;
heavy vehicles (buses, trucks, trac-
tors and so on) on urban roads may
be limited to 70 or even 60kph with
signs advising of those limits.
Why do we need so many signs,
especially through Smiths Beach, or
the Koala Reserve?
Only on German motorways or oth-
er specially designated roads is the
“unlimited” speed sign used.
On arterial roads, the speed limit
may be 60 or 70 kph and posted in
the usual way.
Minimum speeds are very rarely
marked in Germany (see Wikipedia).
Vicroads could save a lot of money
by removing so many speed signs.
Fines for exceeding the speed limits
must be strictly enforced.
David Rathgen, Cowes.
Taking Bernie to task
I see Bernie has taken over the let-
ters page in a recent edition of the
What I’m actually writing about are
a couple of Bernie’s comments on
the town square and his diatribe on
I agree with Bernie about the town
square. It certainly is a hot box in
sunny weather, especially in sum-
mer, so definitely could use some
decent shelter. Flags or banners can
also provide shade if fitted in the ap-
propriate locations, perhaps draped
from one pole to another or across to
the council buildings.
Shades are great but they get
dirty quickly so need to be pressure
cleaned or replaced to avoid being an
eyesore – something Bernie would
be sure to complain about down the
I don’t agree with Bernie’s com-
ments on traffic and imposing a
60kph limit across the whole island.
I feel that’s a knee-jerk reaction to a
situation he has probably come to
from a personal level and not from
an objective viewpoint. It’s pretty
clear that our roads are no longer ap-
propriate, if they ever were, for the
amount of traffic we experience over
Simply reducing the speed to 60
across the island will quite probably
create more traffic because it won’t
flow quickly enough to dissipate.
I’m sure most people remember
that the speed was reduced along
Surf Beach for justifiable reasons,
at the time, because of the fatality of
one boy and serious injury of another
man on a separate occasion.
However, it seems these signs do
little for the many drivers I see shoot-
ing through there at 70-80 almost on
a daily basis.
The 60 zone at the Koala Park also
gets ignored by locals and tourists
Just sit at Rusty Waters for an hour
and you’ll watch people tear through
at 80 without a single flash of their
So clearly, it’s not the speed limit
at fault here. Is it the signs not being
prominent enough perhaps?
Certainly, the ones at the Koala
Park aren’t. There used to be two
sets of 60 signs but two were re-
moved during roadworks and never
replaced. Perhaps they need to be
larger and more prominent. Maybe
adding a reflective band around the
sign may increase their visibility, as
has been done in the U.K. for the past
15+ years - for highway signs mostly
The expanded 60 zone at Surf
Beach is confusing for people as the
original section white markings are
still in place so the new bit seems
poorly tacked on.
Again, bigger and clearer signs
would really help grab people’s atten-
I have noticed that VicRoads seem
to ignore the ability to use the road’s
surface as a communications me-
dium, neglecting to place speed lim-
its, no right turn signs or overtaking
arrows to aid drivers, as is done in
most other countries on the planet.
Dare I say it but the ultimate deter-
rent for speeding drivers would be
fixed speed cameras. Placing several
along the Surf Beach section and one
in the middle of the Koala Park sec-
tion would probably illicit the right
response. With a lot of abuse too I’m
sure as they always do but it’s one
effective way to get people to slow
down. Like anyone I’d prefer it didn’t
come to using speed cameras. Eng-
land has gone berserk over them in
the past 20 years as they’re a great
money earner but they are effective.
Bernie’s suggestion to reduce to 30
is, quite frankly, absurd. Why not just
make it a pedestrian only area while
you’re at it Bernie and really destroy
the traffic management for the town?
No offence Bernie but it’s quite clear
that comment is a knee-jerk reaction
from a grumpy old man. Reducing
the speed to this speed would only
create more traffic, more noise, more
rage and more pollution. We don’t
need more signs and speed reduc-
tions. We need better road manage-
However, I do agree that the speed
limit could probably be reduced on
Thompson Avenue. I’d like to put for-
ward the adjustment from the Settle-
ment Road roundabout down to the
Church Street roundabout be re-
duced to 50kph and the section from
Church Street down to the Esplanade
to reduced to 40kph.
Maybe just a hidden dirt track for
locals going to and from Newhaven
would be nice. That would also re-
duce traffic but increase dust. He he!.
At the December 14 council meet-
ing, I refer to the decision made by
council not to go ahead with the
Cowes Cultural Redevelopment Plan.
It was to say the least, a most disap-
pointing outcome, given the previous
council had passed this development
plan unanimously for it to proceed.
At least that Council had the fore-
sight to see its potential and appreci-
ated all the work that had gone into
This redevelopment would have
added a great outstanding asset to
the community, both economically
and culturally and would have been
a significant tourist attraction and
been the second major construction
since the building of the Phillip Is-
land bridge, excluding commercial
enterprises, to be constructed on the
In the lead up to the Council elec-
tions, all participants seeking elec-
tion, spoke of Council waste (finan-
cial) and how they would eliminate it,
and yet in a blink of an eye, and the
stroke of a pen, this current Council
has voted to once again scrap this re-
A waste of $600,000 plus, to create
these plans and designs, not to men-
tion all the work and many years and
hours it has taken to create a new
Cultural Centre. A total disgrace.
Having being involved with both the
2005, 2009 process, and then having
the privilege of being selected to be a
part of the Working Group in 2014 to
work on this project, this decision by
the current Council has shocked me,
along with my other colleagues.
My thanks to Cr Michael Whelan,
one of the three Island Ward Coun-
cillors along with Cr Ellis and Cr Le
Serve from Western Port ward, who
supported this worthwhile project
and could see its value to Phillip Is-
land. Surprise was the rejection of
this redevelopment by the two oth-
er Island ward Councillors, Mayor
Rothfield and Cr Fullarton.
More surprisingly was Cr Fullar-
ton, who was also invited to become
a member of the Working Team in
2015, adding his expertise and expe-
rience to the redevelopment, and was
at the time in favour of this project,
which in his own profession would
have benefited him greatly, not hav-
ing to travel to Wonthaggi so many
time to meet with engineers, plan-
ners and the like all who would have
been housed within the new develop-
ment, a great benefit to Cr Fullarton
I would have thought. I now wonder
why or who convinced him to change
From time to time, this newspaper
has constantly reported the negativity
or the need for this most unpopular
project not to proceed, and this is not
what the community needs, I find it
hard to believe, as in my working and
dealings within and around Phillip
Island Community groups, such as
The Phillip Island Arts and Cultural
Committee, Offshore Theatre group,
Phillip Island Movie Club, U3A, all
who have a combined membership
of hundreds and hundreds of mem-
bers, not counting the members of
the Artists Society, The Genealogi-
cal Society, the Musuem, and all the
members of the Library, all of whom
use this facility, so I’ve yet to meet
these supposed objectionable com-
munity members who would seek
to oppose the re development of the
Cowes Cultural Centre.
I would say that there are some in
our community who don’t want any
changes, and therefore can’t see into
the future for our expanding and
younger population to enjoy.
Barrie Robinson. Cowes.
Time to draw breath
on Cowes centre
Congratulations to our new council-
lors for showing the fiscal prudence,
and the fortitude, to resist the push
to put our shire further into debt for
an unfunded Cultural Centre Project.
It is one of those “nice to have” proj-
ects, but we do already have a Cul-
We do not have, for example, a
The last edition of The Advertiser
carried a number of letters bewailing
I have to assume they were from
supporters of the group that pushed
the proposed design to where it is to-
It remains a contentious design.
In response to written comments
after the public presentation, our
previous mayor chaired two meetings
with representatives of a number of
If minutes were taken, they were
not circulated, and the comments
made appear to have been duly ig-
Now that there can be no prospect
of linking the project to sesquicen-
tennial activities, there is no need to
rush to “shovel ready” drawings.
Indeed this is a good opportunity
to improve the proposed redevelop-
ment by considering the needs of a
wider range of users.
Preferably without engaging more
Peter Foden, Rhyll.
Dogged by shire’s rules
Ahh! As summer is upon us, we
busily get ready for another season.
For those of you with businesses or
jobs, we realise how time poor we
are. So as a Phillip Island resident
of 21 years, after work I take my dog
down to Red Rocks for a walk, not
realising it’s five minutes before the
beach curfew ends.
Talking on the beach with some-
one, we are approached by someone
wearing a high visibility vest.
Yes, my dog is off the lead playing
with his stick in the water, but he is
a resident and knows how to behave
on the beach.
So the high visibility person ejects
us from the beach in the most rude,
surly, arrogant and dismissive man-
So now “protecting” the beach from
local business men and their dogs is
their function, so that real beach us-
ers can leave behind fish hooks, beer
cans, pizza boxes, fish and chip wrap-
pers, lighters, plastic bags, buckets,
rope, sinkers, beach toys, broken
boogie boards, shoes, socks, thongs,
sandals, underpants etc. All manner
of refuse of which I and many other
dog walkers pick up off the beach
and place in the car park bins.
Well, after our unpleasant beach
removal, I won’t be removing these
things any more. They can stay there.
P.S. It’s always a good look when
the ranger calls into the Isle of Wight
for a beer after work in the ratepayer
funded company car, isn’t it?
Peter Hehir, Double ratepayer,
Toll visitors to save Island
There have never been more people
on Phillip Island, with more money,
than there are now.
Yet there are over 20 vacant shops
in Cowes, and 60 businesses for sale
What are we doing wrong?
The main problem is that commer-
cial rates and rents are too high for
these businesses to operate profit-
This is because councils have his-
torically used high commercial rates
as a vehicle to collect revenue to pay
for services to tourism.
The better alternative would be to
charge a toll for entry to the island
and fund tourism directly from it,
which would allow rate relief for
Most visitors can’t believe they
don’t have to pay to come onto the Is-
land, given that so many other tour-
ism precincts charge entry fees, the
snowfields being just one example.
A toll would also have the effect of
helping to control the overcrowding
which is becoming intolerable over
We face a clear choice on this issue;
bite the bullet now or suffer the con-
Phyllis McKenzie, Cowes.
Drive safely, save a life
How saddened I was when learned
of the tragic death of the little girl in a
car accident at Smith’s Beach.
As a Penguin Parade Ranger, I regu-
larly drive through Smith’s Beach
and continue to be appalled at the
speed and dangerous driving by
visitors and residents on the Island
On the evening of the accident, ap-
proaching Smith’s Beach and slow-
ing to 60 kmh, I was overtaken by a
transit van still doing approximately
80kmh. I flashed my lights and the
driver braked hard to slow down to
the clearly posted speed limit.
Continuing on to the 80kmh zone,
the van had accelerated well ahead
and by the time we reached the
100kmh zone, I would estimate the
van was doing 120kmh.
Obviously not on “Island Time” and
not concerned about ending their vis-
it, or someone else’s, in hospital or in
When I arrived at the parade, I told
another ranger what had happened
and commented that there would be
another accident soon...and there
With the busy holiday season, we
clearly need more visible policing on
this busy stretch of road.
I pray it never happens, but how
long will it be before a tour bus is
involved in a potentially serious ac-
We are all responsible for safety on
our roads... drive carefully.
Linda Patterson, Cape Woolamai.
what a shame
What a shame that the most iconic
landmark that can be seen all along
the south coast from Cape Woola-
mai to the Nobbies and which at-
tracts a very large number of visitors
throughout the year, is spoiled by a
3.3 km badly corrugated road.
It was very difficult to explain to
my overseas visitors how the only
road leading to such a magnificent
attraction was not sealed and that
it did not have a high enough prior-
ity to upgrade it to the appropriate
status for such an important land-
I certainly will think twice before
I force my visitors to endure a five
minute bone jarring, dusty drive and
also subject myself with the concern
of the damage it is doing to the ve-
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the new
council could see fit to upgrade the
road in keeping with the mantra that
Phillip Island’s natural attractions
are a mecca to tourism?
Lou Pecora, Surf Beach.
is what’s needed
I have written a letter to the shire
about the fatality that occurred at
an intersection at Smith’s Beach last
We have owned a holiday house
in Mills Court for over 12 years and
have witnessed many accidents there
during those years.
Years ago I requested a roundabout
but nothing happened.
With the volume of traffic increasing
and the popularity of Smith’s Beach.
I hope they do something about this
intersection before we have more in-
juries or deaths.
Fay Morgan, Warragul.
Tell us your views with a ‘Letter to the Editor’, emailed to email@example.com
Letters to the Editor
Not enough NBN for Wimbledon Heights
I saw your article about the NBN being in Wimbledon Heights. Unfortu-
nately, it’s not entirely true. It seems the NBN engineers have only put in
one node, out on the main road.
The maximum distance required to connect to the node is 1km.
So us poor schmucks down the far end of the suburb have lucked out.
The engineers really should have put 1-2 nodes in partway down Wim-
bledon Heights so they could capture all the properties and not leave one
corner out completely.
I must say I’m pretty disappointed in their efforts; it seems pretty logical
to me that someone should have measured the distances before connect-
ing it all up.
Putting the only node on the other side of the road means losing at least
200m where the cable runs. What an oversight.
Even the house we just moved from in Rosewall Court has NBN so this
I work from home so I’ve been struggling with a 3-5 mbps connection for
the past four years here.
I’m really itching to get on it but it seems there’s been a cockup on this
You may wish to let the rest of Wimbledon Heights know that if they don’t
have it now, it could be months (possibly years) before the error is cor-
rected! Very disappointing. Here’s a map of the affected properties.
Ben Miles, Wimbledon Heights.
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