Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : January 10th 2018 Contents PAGE 24 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018
Is it any wonder that visitors are so few in
the off season, after crazy experience in the on
The worst roundabout is at Thompson Ave
and Settlement Rd. Having lived very close to
it for a few years, there are many screeches of
brakes, roars of drag racing starts, crashes and
bangs and broken glass, so many places for un-
expected right turns.
For pedestrians, it’s a bottleneck for kids to
get to and from a large primary school. Simul-
taneously, it’s point where people, old, young,
mobility impaired etc need to cross to the medi-
cal centre, radiology, dentist, family medicine
There’s long been campaigning for pedestrian
crossings at roundabouts. Relevant VicRoads
office at Traralgon even advises that such pe-
destrian crossings are illegal.
It’s disappointing that VicRoads resorts to
dismissing the argument when what we need is
clearly legal in places like Parkville and South
Thompson Ave is the only road in Cowes sub-
ject to VicRoads, all others being managed by
If only VicRoads jurisdiction stopped at Rhyll
Rd, we might be able to make a few improve-
ments to Thompson Ave.
But the Minister is backing VicRoads that
these dumb painted signs must stay, that pe-
destrians are liable for any incident, that pedes-
trian crossings are not necessary, that 40 kmh
urban speed limit is not as appropriate here as
it is in urban Melbourne, that there’s no dan-
ger between cyclists and front-in angle parking,
that pedestrian crossing, with traffic lights, is
appropriate because “so many pedestrians”
shop at Woolies supermarket, etc etc.
Will it ever be possible for Thompson between
Chapel and Esplanade to become pedestrian
only, a pleasant place to hang out, no more
roaring and smoke from big trucks and buses?
Thompson Ave is not a major through road;
it’s a dead end and will never become the kind
of major divided highway project preferred for
VicRoads career development.
Bernie McComb, Cowes.
Holiday rental owners should
empty their own bins
I’ve been reading all the articles about our
new “3 bin system” and can understand that
it’s been a time of change for our residents.
Recently, as I was walking to the beach in East
Cowes, I passed a row of holiday units with six
red bins, on the kerb, absolutely overflowing.
I called the number on the property informa-
tion board and the agent assured me that they
would have the bins emptied (the next red bin
collection was still five days away).
I can understand that some holiday makers
may not be sorting rubbish and don’t under-
stand the new system, but surely the property
owners and property managers do?
It may be necessary for the owners/manag-
ers to check the bins and, if necessary, do a
quick trip to the tip at the recycling centre in
This facility is offering households a “free”
service for January, so why are the bins over-
A friend arrived at her holiday rental this
week, only to be told by the owner, “sorry
about the red bin... it will be emptied next
My friend is paying a massive rent for the
week but had no bin space.
It’s time for property owners to take respon-
Special ‘thank you’ to the
ON December 31, 2017 at lunchtime I had
the misfortune to fall down a flight of stairs and
land on the concrete path in Thompson Avenue.
Miraculously, I only suffered fractured ribs
but I want to thank the kind people who came
to my aid.
Two young men from the Pub Restaurant
immediately and wisely stood guard till I felt
I could get up when they summoned a family
member to come.
Also a young lady called Kathy who stayed
with me throughout making medical contact to
discuss my condition and only leaving when I
My heartfelt thanks to all of you.
Reflecting on the incident I feel reassured
that even if we feel that the world is becoming
apathetic and indifferent to the many tragic oc-
currences and situations, when someone needs
help there are still many ready to show love and
care to others. Elizabeth Francis, Cowes.
The maggots are winning
The bin situation in Ventnor is out of control.
In July I discussed this with the mayor and
council officers. Told them that people would
not understand and rubbish would be all over
I was told that it had worked elsewhere, and
landlords would need to educate tenants. Well
that didn’t work.
These are the maggots (video supplied) I
found when emptying my bin of nappies to take
to landfill! Paul Zennaro, Ventnor.
Why give way to vehicles?
After more than 10 years of campaigning
to get any one of a bunch of small changes to
Thompson Ave, even the simplest has failed, yet
again. This one is not asking for something to
be done, just something to NOT be done.
It’s about roundabouts in Cowes and big bright
yellow signage, painted on footpaths “Give way
to vehicles”. There was a hope this year that they
would fade away, not be re-painted.
My first check was with a city solicitor, to
ask if such signage was an example of “rustic
charm” that might actually be illegal.
Everywhere else in life, power gives way to
Operators of power equipment need to be
equipped and trained to make sure they’re not
at risk of expensive liability for injury or death
We pay standards organisations for perfor-
mance and insurance premiums to protect us
in case of failure to avoid injury and death to
those most vulnerable.
If you talk to the Shire, they pass you on to
VicRoads, who pass you back to the shire. Talk-
ing to friends, assorted grey nomads, every-
body, the give way to vehicle signs are painted
on footpaths only in Cowes.
Of course the experts are VicRoads, who
draw your attention to a brochure they publish
which explains that, at roundabouts, pedestri-
ans really must always give way and never have
any right of way.
If you talk to Learner Drivers, even they don’t
get told about this.
If Cowes is meant to do anything more than
pay just lip service to being an attractive des-
tination, encouraging pedestrians and cyclists,
as well as cars, it surely makes sense to check
road rules in other parts.
Either interstate or international, nowhere
else has any road rules saying pedestrians
must give way.
How foolish does it make us look?
Some people say, especially VicRoads, that it’s
not a big deal, that drivers are always polite and
predictable, no road rage or aggro ever. This
might be fair for occasional pedestrians but,
walking frequently, as you approach a round-
about, waiting for vehicles to exit across your
path, you can get drivers doing things as crazy
as stopping half way around the roundabout,
gesturing that they choose to give way to you.
Obviously you respond with gesture that they
have right of way. Just a short delay to other
drivers can lead to road rage blowing of horns.
Then you might suddenly step onto the road
while the driver might suddenly accelerate to -
It’s just the kind of foolishness and anxiety
that nobody needs, whether visitor or perma-
There are too many variations to list here.
When it’s very busy, with vehicles approach-
ing from all four directions, wanting to either
go straight or turn in any direction, with some
drivers hasty and others very patient, it’s al-
most impossible to work out who will go and
VicRoads is a century-old organisation that is changing the way we work to better reflect the
needs of the communities we serve.
We have a lot of technical expertise, but we know that local communities are the experts when
it comes to understanding the impacts roads can make on their businesses and daily lives.
The senior leadership team at VicRoads has visited every region in the state this year, asking
the people who drive and depend on rural roads every day about how we can better plan, build,
manage and maintain the 19,000 kilometres of country arterial roads.
We’ve met with people, businesses and councils in Korumburra, Leongatha, Morwell, Strat-
ford, Bairnsdale and Omeo, and held conversations in community halls, schools, dockyards
We’ve tapped the optimism of thousands of people who love their regions, and engaged with
11,000 people in online forums about what’s important to them.
This will not be a one-off conversation. It’s become very clear that we need to engage commu-
nities regularly on issues that once we would have considered ‘operational’ but are the issues
that really matter.
Dangerous intersections, narrow roads, poor drainage, slow and ineffective repairs, impacts
on buses and trucks and the need for more overtaking lanes, cycling and pedestrian paths are
among key concerns raised with us.
Fundamentally, people want honesty about the state of their roads and what can be done to
fix them, in realistic timelines. Hard choices sometimes need to be made, and we need to make
You’ll be hearing more from us now about why, how and what we’re doing on your behalf to
improve the roads that people and industries rely on.
The opportunities to work more collaboratively with local governments and industries to
align our efforts are everywhere.
Country Roads – Your Insights, Our Actions draws on all this important feedback to improve
the way we plan, build, manage and maintain country roads in the next five years and beyond.
John Merritt (former) Chief Executive, VicRoads.
Your input into roads strategy valued
Tell us your views with a ‘Letter to the Editor’, emailed to email@example.com
Letters to the Editor
sibility and arrange for the rubbish to be taken
to the tip (or have this done by their cleaners
at the end of each rental period).
Take responsibility - don’t just take the rent-
al money and run!
This will be an ongoing issue each holiday
period, so please do the right thing or maybe
the Bass Coast Shire will need to introduce a
weekly collection throughout peak periods.
Either way - there’s a lot of full red bins, sit-
ting in the hot sun for too long!
Meredith Lynch, Cowes.
Innovative ideas for the
future is what’s needed
It’s good news that architects have now been
selected for the next stage in the process of up-
grading the Cowes Cultural Centre. What do we
need to do to persuade the shire to reveal what
basic specifications they given to architects?
There are now established standards for
commercial and institutional buildings for en-
ergy efficiency, NABERS and others, to make
up for all the “cutting of red tape” by Federal
There’s only one chance to get this kind of
thing right, at the very beginning. In new resi-
dential buildings, they’re supposed to be six
star but there are no checks and as demand
has increased, shortcuts by builders mean
standards aren’t met.
So is there any minimum standard for CCC?
Are there measures to make sure it’s met?
Or will it be as sad as the Health Hub with
less solar PV than many houses?
Will the roof actually be steep sawtooth, per
previous draft, too steep for high summer sun,
shaded for low angle winter sun?
Life expectancy of this building must be in the
range of 30 to 50 years. A little extra capital
cost up front can be repaid may times over in
energy savings for heating and cooling over this
It’s false economy to say that, up front, any-
thing more than basic cost is not affordable.
Cheapness of attitude is an ever-increasing
problem (except for military weapons).
Recently Energy Commissioner for Califor-
nia, Andrew McAllister was visiting Australia.
With news that the target for 50% renewable
energy set to be met by 2030 is now expected to
be met in 2020.
He offered firm advice that we should be care-
ful not to be totally preoccupied with new instal-
lations of renewable energy sources, attributing
success in California to spreading attention to
“demand side”, reducing demand and build-
ing efficiency. Including retrofits, there are four
times more jobs in efficiency than new energy
One idea was about energy storage, other
than batteries, to include things like excess
energy, wind or solar, being used instead of
wasted into the grid, to pre -heat or pre - cool
water for later use in building heating and
cooling. Obviously this needs sizeable volume
of water, practical only as underground cis-
tern, under Cultural Centre or car park.
There’s been plenty argy bargy about de -
sign to accommodate different activities and
groups. This time last year, CFA ran a com-
munity consultation about planning for bush
fire or other emergency.
One key point was Evacuation Refuge for
the Island, previously unknown to communi-
ty members, it turns out to be the footy oval.
For people in crisis evacuation mode, does
it make any sense that refuge is a place where
there’s no shelter? If it’s more than a few peo -
ple from bush fire or big vehicle crash or trees
blown over or storm surge sea inundation or
just a good old fashioned extended heat wave,
surely risks are high enough now that proper
Evacuation Refuge needs to be provided?
As electricity supply gets less reliable, at
the end of a long, skinny transmission line
there’s more risk here. Just for every day
supply, investment in large scale solar PV is a
no brainer, as can be seen by Newhaven Col-
lege with 240kW, compared with the sadness
of the whole of Bass Coast Shire total 24kW,
mostly old. So how about CCC should be
properly resilient with plenty solar, with ad-
dition of battery solar so that refuge function
will live up to expectations, especially during
If the Shire cannot provide an evacuation
refuge on the Island, where do they designate
such a refuge and will the Transport Hub
include a means of moving many people in
emergencies? In the lifetime of CCC building,
it’s inevitable that supply of petrol and diesel
will be interrupted, suddenly and permanent-
ly for all except law and order and military.
It’s up to local people to lobby to make sure
that we take care of ourselves.
Bernie McComb, Cowes
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