Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 10, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 20 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017
Can we have a review now please?
The previous Bass Coast Shire Council vot-
ed in favour of the demand from Phillip Is-
land Stand Alone for a review of Bass Coast
Shire’s financial performance, in particular
their failure to fund Island projects.
Just because the State Government didn’t
support the review doesn’t mean it can’t be
And with the saving of $800,000 from the
decision not to proceed with the Cultural
Centre plans, surely we can now afford the
Presumably councillors Rothfield and Ful-
larton still support it.
Bring it on!
Phyllis McKenzie, Sunset Strip.
Doesn’t’ it all happen down here, on the
day after Boxing Day?
Trees were damaged at the kids play-
ground on Katherine Circuit.
A large lump was taken from large and not
so healthy tree trunk, obvious hazard for
Branches were torn from tree at the kerb
side but the bigger concern was where two
trees were planted a couple of years ago, and
had grown to two metres or so but were bro -
ken off leaving just skinny stumps.
As we plan for growth, packing more and
more escapees from the city into a confined
space, must we expect more problems?
Even when this is done with lab rats, they
get alienated, even vicious. Is it time to tell
our leaders that obsession with uncontrolled
growth is a problem, for which there’s no so -
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
needs public help
Re: ‘Grave restoration provides spark for a
wider outcome’, Sentinel-Times, Wednesday,
December 28; while the Wonthaggi RSL grant
application to restore the important Padfield
grave was not successful, we will be looking
at other ways and other grants to fund this
restoration in the 2017.
The lesson from the first grant applica-
tion was that community contributions are
a critical component for a successful grant
Unless the community shows interest in
real terms then the grant assessors will con-
clude that the subject does not have commu-
nity support and will therefore receive a low
priority in the assessment process.
To see this project go forward will require
a community contribution of at least $5000
or 20 per cent of the project cost plus the
work value of the volunteers involved in the
The Wonthaggi RSL will look forward to
the generous support to add to our contribu-
tion, from those in the community interested
seeing this project go forward.
Rod Gallagher, secretary, Wonthaggi
The ‘Sentinel-Times’ encour-
ages readers to write with
issues of interest or concern
but letters that have a local
reference point will be given
priority. Writers are also urged
to be brief where possible. Letters may be edited
for space and legal reasons, and must be submit-
ted with the author’s name and contact details of
which only the name and town location will appear.
It’s a question of what came first
IT’S time that State Government authori-
ties cleared up one thing for the people of
Wonthaggi and Bass Coast, a concern that
revolves around the use and abuse of that
most hideous of drugs, Ice.
Every region in the state has a problem
with drugs, we accept that.
Well, that is to say, we understand it, we
don’t accept it!
But there is a perception locally that
there was a significant escalation in the
availability and use of drugs, particularly
Ice, from the time construction on the
Wonthaggi Desalination Plant stated in Oc-
And that the hangover from those heady
days includes a trailing problem with Ice
use that is well in excess of the started av-
erage, possibly high within the local trades.
It stands to reason.
It’s a perception locally, that’s support-
ed by anecdotal accounts of drugs being
much more available generally at the time,
of people being able to buy drugs on site
at the project, including Ice, and of people
even going out into the carparks at lunch-
time and smoking Ice.
There were random alcohol and drug
tests performed on site but we are told by
people who worked there, or provided con-
tracted services to the project, that these
were isolated rather than the constant test-
ing carried out at mining and major private
We’d like to see data on the amount of
testing carried out, for example.
At the height of construction on the desal
plant, the workforce peaked at 4500 peo-
ple and the majority of them were living
at least part of the week in the local area.
A total of 10,500 people worked on the
project over the period from October 2009
to its completion in December 2012. It’s
a big number and there would have been
significant impacts – good and bad.
There should have been a comprehensive
report done that described those local im-
pacts. Perhaps there was a report but if it
looked at the problems left behind in the
local area, including drug abuse, after the
temporary workforce departed, we’ve nev-
er seen it.
Is the problem with Ice in Bass Coast
worse than that being experienced in com-
parable country areas in the state?
How many towns have, for example, had
shots fired into an occupied domestic shed
by masked men?
Is the use of the drug Ice indicated in a
higher percentage of cases coming before
the courts out of Bass Coast than in other
country areas in Victoria? It certainly is
heavily indicated in domestic violence and
other crime in this area, we know that.
It’s important this concern is cleared up
once and for all because if there is even
a scintilla of evidence that the desal proj-
ect has added to our drug problem, there
needs to be action taken.
In the first instance, there would need to
be a larger and more sophisticated police
presence in the area to bring the problem
back to a reasonable level, not just round-
ing up the users and local traffickers, but
also the manufacturers and big operators
because the reality is that most of the Ice is
coming into the area from outside.
Next there would need to be a greater
health and mental health support effort
actually located in the Bass Coast area to
deal with the problem.
Has the desal plant’s construction left us
with a problem we can’t handle ourselves?
It’s a fair question that we’d like answered.
This pic is from corner of Settlement and
McKenzie in Cowes, Friday, January 6, not
particularly busy time or place. Obviously
it’s ruined somebody’s holiday and not a
good look for passing traffic.
In any kind of enterprise, repeat business
is better, in every respect than one-off busi-
When you consider how much is spent
on marketing, at all levels of government
as well as operators in tourist businesses,
for best return, don’t we need to make the
town as friendly as possible, to encourage
repeat visits and not turn people off with
things like car crashes?
It’s clear, if you inspect traffic research
reports, that speed limits reduced to 40, or
preferably 30km/h in busy urban streets,
mean car crashes can often be avoided
Any remaining will result in very much
less injury and damage.
Thompson Ave, with three supermarkets,
thanks to planning ministers overruling
planning experts, with angle parking on
both sides of the road, is urban traffic an-
archy, even more dangerous for pedestri-
ans and cyclists than cars.
Traffic research reports find that at 40 or
even 30km/h, traffic flow is much smoother
than at 60km/h, driver courtesy improving
so that vehicles make turns and merge into
and out of main roads without all the stop/
start aggro at 60km/h.
Unfortunately local experts often get
more glory out of big budget projects for
“more, bigger, faster, is better” roads.
Could it be that wider and straighter
roads are part of the problem, a reason why
so many drivers can be easily distracted?
In any discussion, authority folks will only
consider rational behaviour by drivers.
For anybody who has ever lived close to a
roundabout like the one at Thompson and
Settlement, walking and cycling frequently,
antics by drivers are often unbelievable.
It’s only when police and ambos are called
that crashes are reported or even recorded
in stats. At this roundabout, you always
find bits of broken glass and plastic.
Example of other craziness, from Satur-
day, January 7, out on “wide open road” in
the crawling conga line between Bass and
San Remo, our son and family got caught
in one of those concertina type car conges-
tion, needing to brake just a little sharply.
Not one but two cars behind suddenly
swerved onto the shoulder to avoid shut-
ting his rear end.
If that’s not enough, it happened again,
with one car swerving left and the other
swerving right, fortunately with no oncom-
Elsewhere in the world, you find pro-
grammable speed limit signs which could
slow traffic down, as far back as Bass, to
reduce risk of concertina braking events.
Otherwise, even as close as Melbourne,
you find places where roundabouts have
been removed and replaced by traffic
lights. This improves flow for single lane
traffic but VicRoads insist that dual lane
roundabouts, disregarding high cost, flow
Occasionally, you might get a clear, wide-
open road run between Newhaven and
Cowes, when you might be able to acceler-
ate to as fast as 80km/h.
But mostly, you’ll be blocked by cars at
less than 80.
The remaining parts of the road at 80 are
gradually getting shorter, replaced by 60.
The difference in travel time, for the ex-
hilaration of a few bits at 80, amounts to
hardly more than one minute time saving.
So how about 60 for whole island and 30
for Cowes, north of Rhyll Road, bounded
by Coghlans to east and McKenzie to west?
Let’s get over it. The private car as we
know it is surely going to be extinct in the
next 10 or 20 years, gradually replaced by
efficient public transport for inter urban
transport, with car sharing at destinations.
How about we favour rather than fight
Our Federal leaders appear to be pin-
ning their hopes on leadership and ideas
from “the regions” , especially for jobs and
Can anybody not see real opportunities
for Island community to lead here? Or do
we continue to turn a blind eye to cars be-
ing cause, and not solution, of so many
problems, with millions of dollars being
wasted on more roads, feeding our disas-
trous addiction to cars?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
Do higher speed limits help?
Car crashes are not a good look for tourism on Phillip Island.
South Gippsland Sentinel-Times
8 Radovick Street, Korumburra 3950
(03) 5655 1422
(03) 5672 1888
(03) 5655 2658
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