Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 5, 2016 Edition Contents PAGE 6 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2016
WORRYING about whether you’ll be stuck
in a jam when travelling to and from Phillip
Island is a thing of the past thanks to the on-
going popularity of a community Facebook
‘Phillip Island Traffic Check’ has been over-
whelmed with attention this past week, gar-
nering an additional 2000 ‘likes’ in just a few
days, taking its total to well over 7000.
The site provides real-time updates on in-
bound and outbound traffic, letting locals and
holidaymakers know about delays due to ac-
cidents or general holiday congestion.
Created by Cape Woolamai resident Nina
Burns, the page has taken on a life of its own.
“My life revolves around my phone at the
moment,” she laughs.
“This is my only week off and I’m using ex-
cess internet data on my phone, but this is
the busiest week.”
Log on to the site at any given time in recent
weeks and you’ll likely see a photo of slow-
moving vehicles snaking along the main arte-
rial into San Remo, with warnings of when
and where gridlocks are occurring.
Other times, you’ll find a smiley emoticon
with the words ‘traffic flowing freely’.
Nina’s moderation of the page starts at 7am
and she admits she glances at her phone “at
least every ten minutes” right up until 6pm,
responding to a bombardment of private
messages asking for quick traffic updates.
Other times, she’s removing nasty comments.
“I’ve asked people not to swear on the site
because I know there are people who hand
phones over to their kids while they’re driv-
ing,” she says.
“So swearing is deleted, as is mention of po-
“I also don’t want to see car accident photos
on the page.
“I wouldn’t want to find out through social
media that I know someone who has been in-
jured or killed in an accident.”
The idea for the site came to Nina when she
was, funnily enough, sitting in traffic one fine
afternoon in 2014.
“It was taking me over an hour to drive
from Bass to the island and I was sitting there
thinking ‘I wish a few of my friends on Face-
book had told me what the roads were like,
I could’ve stayed in Melbourne a few extra
“So I created the page and only expected
half a dozen of my friends to post.”
Within days of going live, the page blew up
and became the go -to resource for anyone
bound for the island during peak periods.
“I didn’t realise how needed something like
this was,” she adds.
“I’m glad it helps people.
“It makes a big difference if you need to go
somewhere and can quickly check the site to
see whether traffic is banked up.”
Whilst she currently moderates the site
solo, Nina hopes to make it a little more au-
tonomous in the future, allowing users to
continue posting updates.
“It is a community based project and I re-
ally love how everyone comes together and
pitches in,” she says.
“We have a problem with the traffic, but if
everyone works together we can minimise the
“It’s up to people to start thinking a bit,
spacing out times rather than everyone com-
ing down between 10am and 5pm.”
Check out the page at www.facebook.com/
Bass Coast Shire Council, 76 McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi, VIC 3995 | DX 34903 Wonthaggi | PO Box 118, Wonthaggi, VIC 3995
1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.basscoast.vic.gov.au
Bass Coast Shire Council
Are you a parent of a four year old?
Your child is now due for their four year old preschool vaccination
booster against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles,
mumps and rubella. This can be arranged at one of our public
immunisation sessions or through your local doctor.
Give your child the gift they really need – immunity against disease.
Immunisation sessions are held at the following venues and times:
Coronet Bay - Thursday, 14 Jan 2016, 10.30am to 11.00am
Coronet Bay Community Hall, cnr Gellibrand Rd & Bantering Bay Rd
Grantville - Thursday, 14 Jan 2016, 11.30am to 12.00pm
Grantville Transaction Centre, 1504-1510 Bass Highway
Cowes - Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016, 10.30am to 11.30am
St Philip’s Parish Hall, cnr Thompson Ave & Church St
San Remo - Tuesday, 12 Jan 2016, 1.30pm to 2.00pm
San Remo Recreation Centre, Wynne Ave
Wonthaggi - Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016, 10.30am to 11.30am
Wonthaggi Senior Citizens Club Rooms (next to medical centre),
46-50 Murray Street
Inverloch - Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016, 1.30pm to 2.00pm
Inverloch Warrawee Senior’s Club Rooms, 22 A’Beckett Street
(parking at rear)
Please bring your Medicare Card and child’s immunisation book
to the sessions. For more information contact us on the numbers
Council will be developing a new shire wide Playspace Plan in 2016.
A playspace encompasses a broad area where play equipment may
only be one aspect of the play.
The consultation for this Plan will commence on Saturday, 9 January
at the Bass Coast Agricultural Show in Wonthaggi where Council
will be hosting a pop-up stand, so come along and spend a few
minutes sharing with us some of your ideas.
The Plan will be a 10 year plan that guides the development of
Playspaces throughout the Shire.
If you can’t make it to the pop-up stand, there will be other
opportunities to provide input and feedback, including an online
survey available from Council’s website from 9 January and several
park based pop-ups, with details to be advertised at a later date.
For more information, please contact Council’s Recreation and
Open Space Planners, Ella Angarane and Howard Scott, on the
Residents, ratepayers and visitors to Bass Coast are invited to
attend Fire Ready Victoria meetings hosted by the CFA.
These sessions provide the the must-have information for this fire
Grantville – Thursday, 7 January 2016, 7.00pm to 8.30pm at
Grantville Community Hall, Bass Highway
Inverloch – Saturday, 9 January 2016, 9.00am – 10.30am, Inverloch
Hub Forecourt, 16 A’Beckett Street Inverloch including a CFA
Brigade BBQ Breakfast.
In the event of an emergency:
Tune to ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated
community radio stations or Sky News TV
Call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on
freecall 1800 240 667
Deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication
impairment can contact VBIL via the National Relay Service
on 1800 555 677
For help with English, call the Translating and Interpreting
Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to telephone
VBIL. If you know someone who cannot speak English,
provide them with this number
Download the FireReady App and follow Vic Emergency on
Twitter (#VicFires) or Facebook
Road Closures: check VicRoads website
Fire Ready Meetings
Do you visit Parks and Playspaces in Bass Coast?
Continued from page 1
They echoed a campaign that the local surf lifesav-
ing club has been waging for years, for the erection of
warning signs at all Venus Bay beaches, so far without
an acceptable response from Parks Victoria.
There have been several other near misses this sum-
mer. There are every year.
On Friday, December 4, 2015, it was only by pure
luck that highly experienced surf lifesaver Dave Cum-
ming happened to be having his lunch at Number 1
Beach when four visitors got into difficulty, two possi-
bly three of whom would certainly have drowned except
for his efforts.
Last Saturday, again at Number 1 Beach, which is
patrolled during the week by professional lifesavers
and on the weekends by qualified surf club volunteers,
there were two more serious rescues.
As well, there were 140 “preventative actions” by life-
savers between Christmas and the Boxing Day holiday
Monday alone with upwards of 15 serious rescues in
total over the Christmas-New Year break.
“Unfortunately we have one of the biggest rips in
years operating there (at Number 1 Beach) at the mo-
ment,” said Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club President
“It’s actually out front, where you come on to the
beach, and is about 400 metres wide. It’s a big trough
and can move you out in seconds.
“That’s why we’ve had to move the flags further up the
beach which is a bit problematic because it’s not in the
obvious position for beachgoers.”
The point is, though, that it’s in the safest place pos-
sible for visitors to swim.
“This year we’ve had a big push on swimming be-
tween the flags and I always say, there has never been
a drowning in Victoria when people are swimming be-
tween the flags.”
“But the reality is,” says Craig, “they’re all public
beaches and we can only advise people what to do. If
they choose to swim outside the flags or at one of the
other beaches, we can’t stop them.”
Which is why Craig and the members of his club want
to see clear warning signs at all Venus Bay beaches.
“Cape Liptrap Coastal Park is controlled by Parks
Victoria and any signs that are erected on the foreshore
have to be approved by them. There are 67 surf lifesav-
ing clubs in Victoria but only four of them are on Parks
Victoria land; us, Gunnamatta, Sorrento and one other.
“We’d like to see some pictorial signs that show what
a rip is. That the flat part of the water isn’t necessarily
the best place to swim.”
He has also backed calls for multicultural messages
At a community meeting in the town two days after
the latest fatality, several people raised their concerns
with South Gippsland Shire Councillor Kieran Kennedy
who has promised to take the matter up with Parks
“The main message is ‘swim between the flags’ during
patrolled times at Number 1 Beach but there needs to
be signs, bi-lingual signs, at the other beaches,” said a
long-term local holiday home owner.
“My daughter volunteers at the surf club and she was
involved in saving a couple of people a few years ago but
there have been drownings at these beaches, and still
no warning signs.
“Something has got to be done.”
Cr Kennedy agrees and will be making representa-
tions to council urging its advocacy, on the community’s
behalf, with Parks Victoria.
Cape Woolamai’s Nina Burns has her finger on the pulse when it comes to traffic up-
dates around Phillip Island this summer. G060116
WHEN vital infrastructure isn’t keeping pace with
growth, you know there’s something wrong with the
And such an indicator is the public toilet block at
It has long been inadequate for the purpose but
with 2000 to 3000 at the beach and around the town
on busy days, the two pans in the girls and similar
space in the boys is a recipe for disaster.
By virtue of a small, $1000 grant from the shire,
the community took it upon themselves to fix the
plumbing, the drains and provide a coat of paint but
it’s only papering over the cracks – a new toilet block
is needed and the issue will be one of the items on
the agenda at the next general meeting of the Sandy
Point Community Association at 2pm on Sunday,
The Waratah Way walk, roadside vegetation clean-
up, sewerage troubles and more... it will all be on
Checking ahead on the
Island traffic with Nina
Plea for swim danger
signs at Venus Bay
Members of the busy Venus Bay SLSC, Kent Ben-
nett, Travis Rowden and Dave Gee leave the beach
last Saturday after another patrol day punctuated by
several serious rescues. M250116
Shire caught short
at Sandy Point?
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