Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : December 30th 2015 Contents PAGE 16 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2015
Recently, a large truck visited Cowes
to repaint line markings on Thompson
There were two hefty blokes on the
back tray who hopped down onto the
road when the truck stopped.
From the truck they lifted a hefty
stencil placing it so that they could
then spray paint.
The first photo is taken at the pedes-
trian crossing near ‘Woolies’; looks like
some cost cutting policy was in place.
It’s only part of the bicycle image that
was repainted - just the part covered
by new asphalt.
Where there are bike tracks at pe-
destrian crossings, image on the first
photo is supposed to be painted, in the
bike track, both before and after the
crossing, on both sides of the road.
There’s one immediately behind
the truck but three others completely
missing for the school crossing.
At ‘Woolies’, they get a complete set
of four prints - surely the school cross-
ing is at least as important, if not more
Looks like instructions were sadly
inadequate for such big road painting
truck and three blokes.
The second photo shows a delivery
truck parked right next to the school
There’s just this and one other car
park before a driveway.
Blocking the line of sight for drivers
and pedestrian alike is surely danger-
Should these parking spots be either
scrapped completely or clearly signed
for cars only and 15 minutes?
Looking forward to seeing Thomp-
son Avenue upgraded so it’s more
friendly towards pedestrians and cy-
Bernie McComb, Cowes
Can someone please explain to
me what our Mayor is on about or
better still can someone please ex-
plain to the Mayor what her weekly
message is supposed to represent.
As far as I and the many residents
I have spoken to are concerned the
Mayor’s message in the local weekly
newsprint is an opportunity for her
to advise residents what Bass Coast
Shire Council are presently doing,
what they have already done (if any-
thing) and what their future pro -
grams are regardless of whether the
residents are in agreement or not.
They are items concerning Bass
Coast, which every resident has a
right to know about they are not an
opportunity for a lot of waffle about
22/12/15 p6) did not provide one
scrap of information about Bass
Coast Shire Council.
When we want to know what is
happening globally we can read
about it in the major newspapers or
by watching TV etc.
Surely this council has enough
to concern itself with locally with-
out worrying about international
The Mayor should remember she
is the Mayor of Bass Coast she is not
the Mayor of some overseas country
(or not at the moment anyway) nor
is she a Foreign Correspondent so
what is going on?
Previous Mayors have always
used their allocated space to pro-
vide news on local matters not al-
ways matters that everyone agreed
with, but they were local matters
which is as it should be.
Let’s get back to reality.
Ivan Hipworth, Inverloch
An update for
Greetings and a Happy New Year
to all those good folks who have
their Christmas holidays in Bass
Coast and especially those located
close to the shores of our beloved
2015 has been a very busy and
productive year for us Bass Coast
permanent residents opposed to
the port, especially those of us who
are members of the leading conser-
vation group, Preserve Western Port
PWP has either submitted to some
vitally important 2015 State Gov-
ernment environmental studies,
including the new Central Coastal
Plan and the Western Port Local
Coastal Assessment or testified be -
fore such important bodies as the
Port of Melbourne Privatisation
Whilst these documents and the
above testimony are extremely valu-
able steps in the PWP fight against
Hastings, they are far too technical
to use in any detail in this Letters to
the Editor forum.
So I will merely conclude on two
The first is a recently released
report for the MCG trust detailing
just how much volume is encom-
passed by the MCG and the second
are comments made to PWP by As-
sociate Professor David Kennedy,
Coastal Geomorpholgist, in relation
the severe damage dredging for the
container port would do to Western
Port’s delicate eco-tourism based
The Melbourne Cricket Club has
just released the findings of a study
conducted at the MCG by AAM Sur-
The survey team were asked to
determine the exact volume of the
The survey team set up a laser on
several different points on the cen-
tre stage to get different perspec-
tives before turning that data into
a three- dimensional model that is
accurate to 10mm.
AAM Surveys found the exact vol-
ume of the MCG is 1,574,000 cubic
In relation to the Port of Hastings
proposal and the amount of dredg-
ing required PWP has always re-
ferred to the (conservative) findings
of the Victoria University Institute
of Supply Chain.
They estimated that the required
dredging would be 24 million cu-
bic meters excluding the required
dredging in the anchorage area off
the north shore of Phillip Island.
So 24 million cubic meters di-
vided by 1,574,000 cubic meters
equals 15 plus MCGs.
Clearly this means 15 MCGs of
additional sea water surging in and
out of Western Port at every tidal
With two tide changes a day that
is the equivalent of 60 MCGs of ad-
ditional water surging in and out of
Western Port daily.
That is 21,900 MCGs of water
surging in and out of Western Port
It is no wonder that Associate
Professor Kennedy advised PWP
as follows: “A deep-water channel
will lead to the propagation of open
ocean waves further into the estu-
ary as well as enhance the size of
locally-generated wind waves.
“As the coastline of Western Port
has evolved under low energy, fetch-
limited, conditions any increase in
wave energy will result in signifi-
cant shoreline erosion.
“There is a very high risk of great-
ly increased erosion throughout the
northern, western and southern
shores of Western Port including
the eastern shoreline of Bass Coast
around Coronet Bay and the Phillip
Island north shore. ”
A recommendation for the site of
Victoria’s next container port is ex-
pected to be made to the Andrews
Government by mid-year.
In the meantime I urge all who
holiday within Bass Coast to help
keep up the “pollie pressure” to
ensure our beloved holiday play-
ground stays that way and does
not end up an industrialised port
Liberal Opposition leader Mat-
thew Guy and Federal Member for
Flinders, Greg Hunt should be the
principal targets as they are on re-
cord either actively or tacitly sup-
porting the Port Project.
Matthews is on record as stat-
ing “we believe totally in the Port
of Hastings” and dear Greg, who’s
office is a short seagull flight from
the container port site, is also on
record as stating that the port pro-
posal may not need dredging “if at
all” when compared with a non-
existent proposal to further dredge
So one of these fine gentlemen
clearly does not care a penguin
peep about Western Port and the
other desperately needs new batter-
ies for his calculator.
Kevin Chambers, The Gurdies
Preserve The Cape Group wish-
es to recognise and give thanks to
the Wonthaggi Fire Brigade Group
for their timely and effective work
in stopping the Tank Hill/Longwall
Court fire before it reached and en-
dangered us at Cape Paterson.
We are indebted to all the volun-
teers who turned out on our behalf
on such a frightful day.
Prof Nicholas Low, Michael and
Judi Russell-Clarke, Cape Pater-
This week the real meaning of
Christmas was bought together
from the Anglican, Uniting, Catho -
lic and Baptist churches in Ko-
rumburra when they organised two
afternoons of fun activities for chil-
dren in the parish hall.
It was really wonderful to see all
the children singing Christmas Car-
ols, enjoying art and craft activities
and putting on the Nativity play.
All volunteers and everyone else
concerned is to be congratulated.
Seeing everyone joining in togeth-
er was quite an emotional feeling in
a really good way.
Thank you so much for such a
great two days.
God bless you all.
Cheryl Routley, Korumburra
The application for redevelop-
ment of the Phillip Island airport
gives the community a chance to
change the way rural land is devel-
Up until now, when a property is
rezoned it is all one way.
The developer maximizes his in-
vestment and the community usu-
ally gets five per cent of land for
recreation or money in lieu.
The airport is outside the town
boundary and there is no obligation
for consideration of the recent in-
formal request for 17ha public open
space in return for 300 houses.
This is the beginning of discus-
sions and a more realistic begin-
ning is 150 houses and 40ha open
Woolamai has 2500 properties
and is the biggest subdivision on
Like all other areas, it was poorly
designed without consideration for
town planning principles and apart
from the magnificent coast on two
sides, it has little recreation facili-
ties for the residents.
It is hard to support the concept
that we need facilities as our age -
ing community will use the coasts
in winter for social engagement and
150 houses is an increase of six
If this basic starting point with
traffic access away from Tampa
Road through Veterans Way was
agreed, then an increase of 50
houses may result in a new round-
about at Woolamai - the island’s
most dangerous intersection.
Another 50 houses may be the
state’s best skateboard park.
There is a risk of the airport set-
ting a precedent, but it leads to a
discussion of what we want the is-
land to look like.
evolved; they were not defined with
a big picture approach.
There is an argument for some
fine tuning; for example, selling sec-
tions of Mitchell Reserve at Smiths
to pay for the purchase a central
block for a town square.
This concept was not considered
in the frenzy of subdivision in the
The normal reaction for Woola-
mai residents is to say ‘no way’.
This leads to the very real possi-
bility of a future council or Planning
Minister in five years to approve
500 houses and the community gets
This is where ‘get a bit and give a
bit’ begins. The power lies with the
Most owners of rural land would
like to develop their property.
Town boundaries are always be-
For example, the 200 lot residen-
tial subdivision behind the choco -
late factory that will be in clear view
from Churchill Island is now inside
the town boundary.
Who of us approved this?
Our first Tourism Strategy is due
for completion in 2016 and it is
likely to include recommendations
for linked pathways around the
island and extensive wildlife corri-
Most of the land is privately
owned and while there are a range
of uses of rural land that are per-
mitted with a Planning Permit,
there is no obligation for owners
to give land for wildlife, amenity of
This must change. Get a bit, give
The last dairy farm on the island
ceased operation last year.
Farming is now about agri-busi-
ness with large farms.
As the typical island 80 acre prop-
erty becomes less viable for farm-
ing, we must consider this valuable
75 per cent of the island.
It is ready to be integrated as part
of the future off-peak recreation
needs of Melbourne.
The spacious rural amenity of
farms is essential for our future but
it should also be used for vegetation
and nature trails.
In return the owner gets a tourism
facility on two acres, for example.
As Melbourne’s population dou-
bles over the next 30 years, we
move into new territory.
As a community we can either
lead from the front or keep saying
‘no’ and get done to.
Can anyone remember the se-
quence of events at Cadogan?
There was no semblance of stra-
tegic planning or community inclu-
sion by the Minister.
The airport has years of public in-
put ahead of it.
Let’s begin with genuine consider-
ation for this and every site to see
what power we really can achieve in
determining the best outcome for
Precedent has already been set on
the airport where the developer has
had three meetings with the com-
munity and has not yet submitted
This is the way it should be.
Council officers are here to imple-
ment what the community wants in
the context of the Planning Scheme
and the Minister has the final say.
The community has the power, if
it uses it rationally.
Cr Phil Wright, Smiths Beach
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
South Gippsland Sentinel-Times
8 Radovick Street
PHONE: (03) 5655 1422
(03) 5672 1888
(03) 5662 3893
(03) 5655 2658
to write with issues of
interest or concern but
letters that have a lo-
cal reference point will
be given priority. Writers are also urged to
be brief where possible. Letters may be ed-
ited for space and legal reasons, and must
be submitted with the author’s name and
contact details of which only the name and
town location will appear.
The idiom that ‘fire is a good
servant but a bad master’ is very
well understood in Australia where
bushfires in dry summers regu-
larly ravage the countryside, as we
have seen in graphic detail along
the Great Ocean Road in the past
Unfortunately fire has also char-
acterised much of 2015 in the Won-
But while the Wye River-Separa-
tion Creek fire started through nat-
ural causes, due to lightning strike,
our fires locally have been deliber-
And it has only been through
good luck and the incredible volun-
teer efforts of our CFA fire fighters
that no one has been badly injured
Hopefully, though, we may soon
be able to rule a line off at the end
of 2015 and start again with a clean
slate and a normal life next year,
free of the threats posed by these
It is understood that police may
have their best lead yet in relation
to the Wonthaggi fires after reports
that the culprit was seen lighting a
fire in the area on Boxing Day.
Hopefully the information will
lead to an early arrest and prosecu-
Police are also believed to be
questioning someone in connection
with a totally unrelated fire, at a
house in Cape Paterson on Monday
this week, December 28, although
they have subsequently denied
making any arrests.
No one can know the consequenc-
es of deliberately lighting a fire,
being careless with fire or allowing
a fire to remain alight on high fire
danger days but if ever there was a
place where there have been plenty
of examples, it’s here in Victoria.
Those living in coastal bush areas
or who enjoy the cool comfort of liv-
ing among the trees in rural areas
face enough challenges during a
long, hot summer without the risk
of someone starting fires deliber-
As stressed before, fires can start
through various means and we all
need to plan ahead and stay alert to
what is going on in our local area.
Fire fears hit home, again
Bernie McComb of Cowes won-
ders what sort of cost cutting justi-
fied spray painting half a bicycle’s
Parking issues like this have
caught Bernie McComb’s atten-
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