Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 21, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 6 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017
Bass Coast Shire Council, 76 McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi | DX 34903 | Wonthaggi PO Box 118, Wonthaggi
VIC 3995 | 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 | email@example.com
Unnamed Road in Cape Paterson
Wonthaggi and San Remo Cemetery Trust Meeting
Pat 5997 6221 or
Neville 5657 7245
All proceeds to assist local
All types of
By Cr Pamela Rothfield
Bass Coast Shire Council
WE HELD our first Ordinary
Council Meeting for the year last
Wednesday, and one decision in
particular regarding highball fa-
cilities in Wonthaggi has raised
a lot of discussion and com-
ment in the community.
At the meeting, it was resolved
to not pursue funding from the
Shared Facilities Fund to con-
struct highball facilities at the
future Wonthaggi Secondary
College Senior Campus in part-
nership with the college.
Given the timeline provided
to submit further information
for this grant program, and the
challenge the new council faces
in determining its financial abil-
ities, we decided not to support
it at this time.
While Wednesday’s decision
appears to some that council
doesn’t support highball facili-
ties in Wonthaggi, be assured
that such facilities are recog-
nised as those in need and the
council will continue to investi-
gate other means to deliver what
is needed by the community.
Stage 2 of the redevelopment
of the Bass Coast Aquatic and
Leisure Centre includes two
highball courts, and if efficien-
cies are realised in this council’s
term, Stage 2 could be brought
We appreciate the commu-
nity’s disappointment and will
be discussing this with all key
community groups in the com-
Please keep in touch with
your local groups and clubs, as
well as your local councillor for
any updates. Their contact de-
tails can be found on council’s
The council is vested with
the responsibility of good gov-
ernance and equity across the
In good conscience, I, along
with the majority of councillors,
could not agree to commit $2
million of ratepayers money to
two additional highball facilities
in the proposed new Wonthaggi
Secondary College by way of
contribution to the extra cost of
$4.6 million at last Wednesday’s
As we have committed to open
and transparent governance, I
would like to share some of the
thought processes in relation to
We as a council learned of
the $4.6 million proposed ex-
penditure for these additional
highball facilities on the after-
noon of the council meeting last
We did not have a chance to
discuss this proposal at length
or in great detail.
Most councillors have com-
mitted to provide their elector-
ate with strong financial leader-
At this point in time, this
council has not seen financial
accounts for this financial year,
nor has it received a detailed
schedule of the committed Cap-
ital Works program.
Last financial year, we expe-
rienced a deficit of some $1.2
million with an asset renewal of
only 54 per cent of depreciation.
This year, we have a rate cap
of 2 per cent, yet we believe our
expenses are set to increase be-
yond this amount.
Furthermore, we have just
completed the most extensive
community engagement pro-
gram that this shire has ever
seen in order to formulate a
four year Council Plan, and
have committed to listen to the
community – with equity across
Once we have the Council
Plan, we will be able to craft a
financial plan, and only then
can we make educated and re-
sponsible decisions as to what
we can commit the entire Bass
Coast ratepayer base to.
The decision on Wednesday
night does not mean that coun-
cil will not seek other sources of
funding for this highball facility
after creating its financial plan.
We all know that there is a
state Government election com-
ing up next year, and it is hard
to believe that other offers of
funding will not be available, es-
pecially considering Bass Coast
is a marginal seat.
I am very sorry that many are
disappointed with our decision;
however a knee-jerk decision
for this amount of money is not
From page 1
“The basketball association currently plays out
of a gym at the Wonthaggi North School, which is
not up to standard. We have this earmarked as a
project down the track, but this is our chance now
to get this project half funded by state money.
“It’s a project that I think has overwhelming
community support, and we need to take the op-
Cr Clare Le Serve said it would be a shame for
the council to not accept the invitation that had
been generously extended.
“It would be a backwards step to kill this project
at this stage,” Cr Le Serve said.
Cr Le Serve responded to Cr Larke’s concern
regarding the timing of the funding application,
saying the council needs to take advantage of op-
portunities whenever they are presented.
“It would be very remiss of us to miss this op-
portunity. Sure, it came upon us quickly. But these
are the breaks you get in government and funding
channels, and we’ve got to be ready to accept it.
“Community consultation did take place. The
Wonthaggi Basketball Association presented to the
council. Many organisations have offered support
for this project.
“Wonthaggi should be a regional centre. All our
young people every Saturday leave this shire to go
and play basketball. They’re going to Pakenham,
they’re going over to the valley, and they’re taking
their money with them because we haven’t got a
The vote to not apply for funding was won five
to four, to which Cr Le Serve commented, “That’s
Mayor Pamela Rothfield, Cr Larke, Cr Brown,
Cr Steve Fullarton and Cr Geoff Ellis voted against
making an application for funding.
It did not pass the attention of Councillor Mi-
chael Whelan that two Bunurong ward councillors
voted against a significant project Wonthaggi.
“As an Island ward councillor I feel a bit strange
standing up for a project in Wonthaggi, but it’s
amazing that two out of the three Bunurong ward
councillors are opposing this,” Cr Whelan said.
“I’m sad we’ve gone straight to the kill button on
In November 2016 the council prepared and
submitted an expression of interest through the
Victorian School Building Authority 2016/17
Shared Facilities Fund to develop a three court
highball stadium (recreation/basketball).
The facility is proposed to be located on a green
field site accessed via McKenzie Street, Wonthaggi.
If attempts to secure funding were successful,
the stadium facility would be co-located with the
future Wonthaggi Secondary College senior cam-
The highball facility would have comprised of
change rooms, storage for basketball, netball and
other uses, administration areas, small social area
and combined meeting space, kiosk and vending
areas, spectator seating and a first aid room.
Stadium hopes slam dunked
The Wonthaggi Amateur Basketball Association is angry at a recent decision by the Bass
Coast Shire Council to not apply for State Government funding for new highball facilities.
THE Wonthaggi Amateur Basketball Associa-
tion (WABA) has expressed its disappointment
in the council decision.
A spokesperson from the WABA said that they
feel the council has let them down.
“For many years the Wonthaggi Amateur Bas-
ketball Association (WABA) has been lobbying
the Bass Coast Shire Council for a compliant
high ball multipurpose facility in Wonthaggi for
the use of all Bass Coast residents.
“The council has acknowledged the need, ben-
efits and strong community support for such a
facility but has not prioritised it due to financial
constraints,” a spokesperson said.
“Recently after submitting an expression of in-
terest for State Government funding, the council
was invited (by the State Government) to pro-
ceed to the next stage by submitting a full ap-
“In short, the council would need to commit
up to $2 million, in principle, and the likely
state funding grant could be around $2.6 mil-
lion. This funding may not be offered again.
“The council has been presented with evi-
dence of the high demand for such a facility in
Wonthaggi, the financial viability of high ball
facilities, economic impact statements showing
the financial benefits to communities who are
able to run camps and junior tournaments as
well as the difficult conditions WABA is faced
with to sustain its competition and member-
ship. “Currently Bass Coast residents leave
town every week to go and play basketball in
other shires; this in itself creates an economic
loss for our shire.
“Limited access to courts has a dramatic im-
pact on WABA’s ability to run programs for our
“We are unable to run training programs for
our domestic players and we have limited op-
tions to train our representative players.
“Our existing courts are non-compliant and
costly for the association to hire.
“These issues threaten the sustainability of
WABA, as many families have chosen to play
in neighbouring associations with greater re-
“The social benefits of being involved in team
sports are immeasurable and WABA desperate-
ly need improved facilities and access to more
courts to ensure the viability of this association
and the programs that it runs in the future.
“The decision made by the council puts the
very future of this association in jeopardy.”
Wonthaggi association shattered
Links Archive February 14, 2017 Edition February 28, 2017 Edition Navigation Previous Page Next Page