Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : January 4th 2018 Contents PAGE 24 - THE ADVERTISER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018
THE recent Know Your Council results dem-
onstrates that Bass Coast Shire Council is on a
positive trend with year-on-year improvements in
Know Your Council collects data from all 79
Victorian Councils across 13 diverse performance
fields including financial performance, waste col-
lection, sustainable capacity, roads and libraries.
The knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au website pro-
vides a platform where people can access the
performance results of their council and compare
results with previous years and other similar
Council’s overall performance score increased
to 50, up by four points compared with last year’s
While this is still lower than the average rating
for councils state-wide (59) and in the Large Rural
group (54) the results of the survey were positive,
Bass Coast Mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield said.
“This data reflects a steady improvement on the
“These results are consistent with the direction
council is taking and reflect council’s focus on
continual improvement while achieving efficien-
cies, which again sees year-on-year improvement
in most of the categories listed on the Know Your
Council website,” Cr Rothfield said.
“I have no doubt these results will continue to
improve thanks to improved services introduced
“For example, our Waste Services results reflect
the old two bin system.
“Next year, our diversion from landfill results
will improve dramatically thanks to our new three
Cr Rothfield said that some of the improve-
ments can be attributed to recent service re-
In 2015, service reviews in the areas of Animal
Management and Food Safety highlighted areas
for improvement and cost saving opportunities.
Reviewed systems and processes in Animal
Management has seen the time taken to action
animal requests reduce from 3.85 days to 2.42
days, also the cost of delivering this service per
registered animal has reduced by 56 per cent.
In Food Safety, the cost of delivering services
has reduced dramatically from
$1,123.57 (2014/15) to $303.00 (2016/17).
Council has delivered the same level of services
in the area of Food Safety with fewer resources,
and Bass Coast is now closer aligned with similar
“Thanks to continuous internal process re-
views, Statutory Planning has seen application as-
sessments within the 60 day timeframe improve
to 75 per cent in 2016/17.
“Since then, our figures for the last quar-
ter show an increase to 83 per cent, which was
achieved whilst also dealing with a significantly
larger number of applications,” Cr Rothfield said.
“We have also seen improvement in areas that
come under Governance such as community en-
gagement, decision making and transparency.
”These things are also aligned with our genuine
focus to listen to our community and remain open
A year-on-year comparison over several years
shows that council’s operating expenses per prop-
erty have remained relatively stable, and rates as
a percentage of property value is aligned with the
state average, Cr Rothfield stated.
Cost of governance per councillor in Bass Coast
Shire is $47,367; compared to $42,625 for simi-
lar sized councils; and $47,978 for all councils.
Community satisfaction with council decisions:
Bass Coast Shire achieved a 47 per cent satis-
faction rate compared to 51 per cent achieved
by similar sized councils and 54 per cent for all
Infrastructure spend per head of population:
Bass Coast Shire $13,531; similar councils
$16,306 and all councils $13,619.
To see the full list of results, head to the website
Know your council website
From the Bass Coast Shire Council
CONSISTENT with its commitment to ad-
vocacy, Bass Coast Shire Council resolved
to represent the community with increased
funding requests to the Federal and State
Governments on the topics of Financial As-
sistance Grants and Homelessness support.
Following the December Ordinary Meeting
in Cowes, council will write a submission to
the Victorian Grants Commission seeking
a change to the major cost drivers used to
calculate the amount of funding Council re-
ceives through the Commonwealth Govern-
ment’s Financial Assistance Grants.
The submission asks that the Victorian
Grants Commission alter two major cost
drivers used to determine grants in the ar-
eas of Recreation and Culture and Traffic
and Street Management.
Commonwealth Grants are one of council’s
major revenue sources outside of rates.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, said
that if the requested changes outlined in the
submission are accepted, it may result in an in-
creased allocation to Bass Coast in the future.
“ Rural councils with high portions of non-
resident ratepayers, such as Bass Coast, are
disadvantaged by some components of the
formula used to calculate grant allocations,
due to permanent population being used as
the cost driver, ” Cr Rothfield said.
“ In our submission we are asking the com-
mission to reassess the cost drivers used,
and in some cases change the driver from
permanent residency to include non-perma-
“ This better reflects our seasonal popula-
tion service requirements and the impact it
has on our community’s infrastructure. ”
Although it is not yet known what the in-
crease in funding could be, if accepted, the
changes would ensure a more equitable dis-
tribution of the Commonwealth Government’s
Financial Assistance Grants to councils with
high levels of non-resident ratepayers.
Also at the December Meeting, council
agreed to support the Frankston City Coun-
cil request to write to the Australian Gov-
ernment requesting increased funding in
the 2018-2019 Federal Budget for essential
services and shelter for people experiencing
This aims to address concerns of the in-
creased incidence of homelessness in our
Cr Pamela Rothfield said that homeless-
ness is not just an issue for metropolitan or
large regional communities; it is also an is-
sue that affects people in rural communities
and for a variety of reasons.
“People in our communities may experi-
ence homelessness due [to] many factors,
some of which include exposure to domestic
and family violence, financial difficulties and
health issues,” Cr Rothfield said.
“I t is not just about associating it with
sleeping on the street either, as there are
many examples of people who are ‘couch
surfing’ to stay off the street. ”
“Traditionally, the role of the Common-
wealth Government around homelessness has
been the provision of capital funding, while the
State Government’s role has been to plan and
manage service provision and housing.
“We believe that local government can play
a role in advocating for the needs of our local
community and we intend to do that. ”
Councils efforts to raise awareness of the
issue and seek support in advocating to gov-
ernment for improved support and services
has been supported at a local level by mem-
bers of the community including health pro-
fessionals who are confronted with the dev-
astation caused by homelessness on a daily
The submission and letter of support are
further examples of council’s focus on advo -
cacy, one of the key themes in the 2017-2021
Both Financial Assistance Grants and Home-
lessness support will be opportunities council
will consider as part of its Advocacy Strategy
which is currently under development.
Bass Coast continues advocacy
THE State Government says
it is improving the governance
of Victoria’s councils and en-
suring ratepayers get the rep-
resentation they deserve.
Minister for Local Govern-
ment Marlene Kairouz re-
leased the Local Government
Bill 2018 just before Christ-
The draft Bill will repeal and
replace the Local Government
Act 1989, which has been
amended about 100 times.
The draft Bill implements
structures and voting meth-
ods for council elections
across Victoria, and requires
councils to adopt long-term
plans and budgets backed by
their local communities.
It gives Government stron-
ger powers to deal with indi-
vidual councillors who are not
performing and requires most
council meetings to be open to
The exposure draft is open
for public comment until Feb -
ruary 23 2018, with feedback
to be used to shape any final
changes before the Bill is leg-
islated in 2018.
The Bill is one of several
election commitments from
the Labor Government to im-
prove the accountability and
transparency of councils, in-
cluding the introduction of
Fair Go Rate Capping and the
Know Your Council website.
The release of the draft ex-
posure Bill follows a two-year
assessment of the current
act that took feedback from
councils, ratepayers, the wid-
er community and industry
To view the exposure draft
and have your say, visit
Minister for Local Govern-
ment Marlene Kairouz said:
“We’re putting people first and
getting it done – updating laws
that haven’t been properly up-
dated in decades.
“This Bill will ensure coun-
cils are accountable and fo -
cused on delivering what’s im-
portant to ratepayers.”
New local government act
to modernise councils
BASS Coast Shire council meetings should be
less secretive and more transparent under new
laws proposed by the State Government.
A draft of the Local Government Bill 2018
is now open for public comment until Febru-
ary 23, 2018 and gives the State Government
stronger powers to deal with individual council-
lors who are not performing and requires most
council meetings to be open to the public.
The draft bill requires councils to adopt long-
term plans and budgets backed by their local
Minister for Local Government Marlene Kai-
rouz said the bill replaced the Local Govern-
ment Act 1989, and followed rate capping im-
plemented by the State Government.
“This bill will ensure councils are account-
able and focused on delivering what’s impor-
tant to ratepayers,” she said.
The release of the draft exposure bill follows
a two-year assessment of the current act that
took feedback from councils and ratepayers.
To view the draft and have your say, go to
A PLANNING application for a boat and caravan
storage facility on a rural Cowes property has been
rejected by Bass Coast Shire councillors because it
is not a farming activity.
The owners of 35 Coghlan Road in Cowes had
applied to develop a 24-unit storage facility, which
received two objections based on increased traf-
fic along the road with objectors also concerned it
would encourage further commercial industrial use
in the area.
Planning officers recommended councillors re-
fuse the application because it was not an agricul-
tural activity and the Blue Gum industrial estate
was the site of commercial operations in Cowes.
All councillors voted to refuse the application,
except Cr Stephen Fullarton who voted in support
of the storage plan, as well as Cr Pamela Rothfield
Cr Geoff Ellis said he didn’t support the appli-
cation because the industrial estate was just 3km
from the farm site.
“Also we want to protect agricultural land and dis-
courage dispersed urban activities,” Cr Ellis said.
“The environment is the economy.”
Cr Bruce Kent said the storage would be an “eye-
sore” and increase traffic.
Cr Fullarton said Coghlan Road was always seen
as an access route to Cowes, alongside Thompson
Cr Michael Whelan said the shire needed to “take
a bigger picture view” and see Coghlan Road as a
feature for tourism.
Farm plan rejected
Council to be more transparent
IT was with mixed emo-
tions that the Phillip Island
RSL Breakfast team buttered
their last piece of toast, cut
their last piece of fruit and
poured their last fruit juice for
the most appreciative school
children at Cowes Primary
Coordinated by Phillip Is-
land RSL senior vice-president
Bruce Shelton and his wife
Helen, the Breakfast Program
has been serving up healthy
breakfast options to the chil-
dren over the last ten years.
The last week of the 2017
school year was the team’s
Members have now hung up
their aprons and are looking
forward to their retirement.
Cowes Primary has thanked
“these wonderful people”
for their hard work and the
cheerful and happy demean-
our they have brought to the
task over the last ten years.
“The RSL Breakfast club
has been operating from the
school canteen every Wednes-
day morning for over 10 years.
“Helen and Bruce Shelton
have been volunteering since
the Breakfast Program’s in-
ception, with Roy and Gay
Gunn recruited shortly after
they have been volunteering
for over eight years.
“There have been many oth-
er volunteers who have filled
in over the years.
“The staff and students of
Cowes Primary would like to
thank them for their ongo-
ing dedication over the years
and working tirelessly prepar-
ing breakfast for hundreds
of hungry children,” said the
school’s vice principal Rod
“This program has been so
valuable for our school and
we are hoping the RSL can
entice more volunteers to
come forward so we can keep
providing breakfast to many
A spokesperson for the Phil-
lip Island RSL said this week
that it is hoped and envisaged
that a new team of volunteers
will pick up the program again
If anyone is interested and
able to donate a couple of
hours a week to assist with
this valuable program at
Cowes Primary School, please
contact Welfare Services at
Phillip Island RSL during
business hours on 5952 1004.
THE Phillip Island RSL Breakfast team were farewelled from Cowes Primary School at
the end of the school term, after ten years of providing a weekly and healthy breakfast for
the students at the school. Team members pictured here, Roy Gunn, John Laver, Helen
and Bruce Shelton, Margaret Hill and Gay Gunn are pictured with Rod Mackenzie, the
school’s vice principal, and students Molly McIntyre and Macey Stubbs, who presented
them with specially made thank you cards. It is hoped that a new team of volunteers may
pick up the program again in 2018.
Thank you RSL for ten years
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