Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : January 10th 2018 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018 - PAGE 9
A MEDIA release issued by the Bass Coast
Shire on Monday, just before the Advertiser
went to press, has identified the preferred site
for the location of the Cowes ferry terminal
building as the Cowes Yacht Club at the end of
The announcement has taken the community
by complete surprise.
Community comment invited on the sites
identified in the discussion paper released for
feedback does not close until January 12, yet
the draft business case with its recommenda-
tion has already gone to council.
Members of the yacht club, who unanimously
opposed relocation at a November meeting with
the consultants, were not notified prior to Mon-
day afternoon’s media release of the recommen-
The 93-page vehicle ferry discussion paper,
released at the end of last year, summarises
findings from the first round of industry and
community consultation and invites input to
the draft business case, closing on January 12.
It was stated a draft business case would be
released on February 21.
That date was reiterated by Mayor Pamela
Rothfield at Saturday’s Anderson Street public
The paper stated that community feedback
described the Cowes Yacht Club as unsuitable
due to its proximity to residents, insufficient
size of the site, the cost of relocation, and the
impact on resident use of the beach.
Anderson Road boat ramp, the Cowes Caravan
Park and Mussel Rock were also discounted.
With no obvious terminal site identified, the
discussion paper said the project team were
currently “investigating the technical feasibility
of each location and other sites”.
However, in spite of the community consulta-
tion process still being underway, the following
announcement was made by Bass Coast Mayor
Cr Pam Rothfield on Monday afternoon:
“The draft Business Case recommends that
the preferred site for the Cowes terminal and
pier be developed near the current site of the
Cowes Yacht Club, with 10-14 sailings per day.
“From recent discussions with the Phillip Is-
land community, I think Phillip Island residents
will be pleased to see that the area near the Yacht
Club is the preferred location for a terminal,”
Mayor Rothfield stated.
Commodore of the Cowes Yacht Club Daryl
Hergt and its members are shocked at the an-
nouncement, which they heard only after being
contacted by the Advertiser for comment.
And they say they will be fighting the recom-
“The Cowes Yacht Club members have already
met at a special general meeting attended by 250
people called to specifically discuss the location
of an industrial ferry terminal at or near the
Cowes Yacht Club location,” Mr Hergt said.
“The vote against a terminal here was unani-
“As I sit here, I am looking over a scene of 35
seven to twelve year olds being taught by the
Club in a Learn to Sail program.
“This morning Vic Swim classes were held on
“Hundreds of 7-12 year olds are learning wa-
ter skills through us.”
“A ferry terminal here is completely inappro-
priate. This is a hugely popular and safe swim-
ming beach, valued by the community and visi-
tors which use it.
“We plan to fight this recommendation vigor-
A shire preamble to the press release com-
mented that the Cowes Yacht Club would need
to be relocated.
This would cost tens of millions of dollars, if
a suitable site can be found, and a straw poll
in the street on Monday saw residents keenly
opposed to such expenditure, ahead of medical
facilities, an aquatic centre, and other commu-
The community is certainly mystified about
the mixed messages they are receiving from
council on this issue.
Attendees at the public meeting held on Sat-
urday, to oppose an industrial terminal at the
Cowes Anderson Street boat ramp, were told
that the draft business case would go to the
February meeting of council, and an announce-
ment would be made then.
The Cowes Yacht Club members y were also
told by a consultant in November that in fact
Anderson Street was the preferred option.
A new group, the Save the Cowes West Beach
Association, was immediately formed in re-
sponse to that statement.
Its president, Russell Craig Browne, has
750 objections in hand which the group had
planned to lodge later this week, and prior to
the January 12th submission cut-off date.
Speaking late on Monday, Mr Craig Browne
stated: “The Association was formed to strongly
oppose a vehicle ferry terminal in the vicinity of
the Anderson Rd boat ramp, and will contin-
ue this campaign until such time that we have
100% certainty that this area will not be the site
for the ferry terminal. “We note that the final
decision on this matter is still outstanding”.
Preliminary feasibility and design studies for
a vehicular ferry between Phillip Island and
Stony Point were undertaken in 1995, 2003
The Cowes pier selected in 2009/10 by con-
sultants saw a long and protracted community
campaign against a ferry terminal being erected
on the iconic Cowes north facing beach; with
the then council supporting community opin-
ion and voting the proposal down.
That exercise cost ratepayers and taxpayers
To date $250,000 has been allocated for the
preparation of a new draft business case on the
feasibility of a car ferry.
Pictured on Monday, the Cowes Yacht Club environs.
Stop press: Preferred terminal site Cowes Yacht Club
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