Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 21, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 26 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017
Your article page 5 of last week’s Sen-
tinel (14/02/2017) requires further clar-
ification with various financial figures.
The last paragraph related to ‘Ace
Environment Services Pty Ltd’ has
informed reader the annual cost
for the Grantville Landfill site is
Contract term is 10 years.
The total financial figure reported in
the paper is $1.68m. (Error).
The figure actually is $1,679,223.15
x 10 years = $16,792,231.5 (rounded
When you add up the figures of:
$50.4 + $5.26 + $2.43 + $16.792
= $74.882m which is above your re-
ported figure of $72.5m which includes
Inverloch and Wonthaggi Transfer Sta-
How much does it cost to run the
Cowes Transfer Station per year and
over 10 years?
The total waste disposal expenses
must be clearly spelt out for all ratepay-
ers to be informed.
All the councillors must be asked to
fully determine the total revenue ex-
pense for waste. They must be chal-
lenged over the services being provided
each year, especially during the holiday/
Councillors must be asked about a
future fully operational Recycle/Trans-
fer Station located close to Cowes on
What would be the setup develop-
ment expenses? What would the yearly
operational expenses be? How and
where would waste be disposed of for
recycle and waste materials of all types?
You might like to create a map show-
ing all sites including a future Cowes
site and record yearly and 10 yearly fi-
nancial figures on the map sites.
What was the total waste expense for
the financial year 2015/16? A figure the
council can provide.
Additional reporting on waste ex-
penses must spell out the true overall
expenses for ratepayers.
I will look forward to reading future
Graham Jolly, Cape Woolamai.
We’re two weeks away from sum-
mer’s end with storages near 70 per
cent full, yet Daniel Andrews still hopes
to pump in 50GL from his faulty desal
Melbourne’s storages are at a healthy
68.1 per cent, but Daniel Andrews is
determined to dump his 50GL desal
water in just before the winter filling
At Parliament’s recent Budget Out-
look hearing, the Department of En-
vironment, Land, Water and Planning
(DELWP) confirmed it would take up to
four months to deliver the desal order.
It won’t be long before autumn and
winter rains start filling the dams again,
so Labor should forget the water order
and focus on getting a refund for cus-
DELWP also confirmed on Tuesday
that in the last year Melburnians paid
more than $600 million in “service
fees” for a desal plant that doesn’t work.
Melburnians didn’t want a $24 billion
desal plant and they definitely didn’t
need a $27 million water order this
year but Daniel Andrews put politics
ahead of people and households con-
tinue to foot the bill.
Brian Paynter MP, State Member
Just get on
with the NDIS
So here we are again, with politicians
bouncing the issue of better support for
people with a disability around the floor
of Parliament House like the proverbial
football. Unfortunately all that’s being
achieved is a massive own-goal.
At what point did it seem like a good
idea to pit welfare and families against
the National Disability Insurance
For starters, it’s not even a logical
argument when the Productivity Com-
mission found that the NDIS would
be MORE cost effective than the status
So, having dispensed with the notion
that there was a cheaper alternative, the
only thing that can be called into ques-
tion is that of ‘need’.
Do our politicians believe that people
with a disability need and deserve more
and better than they’ve historically re-
ceived, or don’t they?
People across this country have suf-
fered immeasurably as a result of a
devastatingly underfunded disability
And now, implicitly, they’re being
asked to apologise for getting what they
need, to the detriment of their fellow
I can only imagine what it must feel
like for someone who has been waiting
desperately for support, as they watch
this debacle play out in Parliament and
From finally being told that you had
a right to a fulfilling life – that you are a
valued member of your community and
part of this country’s fabric – to having
your desperation publicly weighed and
measured against that of some of the
poorest members of our community.
All our leaders have succeeded in do-
ing is creating and debating a humiliat-
ing hierarchy of need.
There was never any question that
the introduction of the NDIS would be
a steep learning curve, and an expen-
sive one at that, but giving with one
hand while taking away with the other
is downright cruelty.
This is a turbulent time – people who
have been struggling are desperate to
ensure that this opportunity does not
slip through their fingers, and those
currently reliant on support are terri-
fied of losing what they fought long and
hard to secure.
Why add to their stress? Why make
them winners or losers in an unneces-
sary political showpiece?
Because ultimately, in social and
moral terms, we are all the poorer for
Andrew Donne, Endeavour Foun-
dation Chief Executive.
If you’re able to to convince people
that climate change is indisputable,
with major extinctions, even us, the
planet cooking for centuries, many then
ask what can be done about population
In 1972, clever folks at MIT were
commissioned to write a book ‘Limits
As fast as it became a best seller, the
rich and powerful had bought them-
selves Thatcher and Reagan govern-
ments to hit back, promising unlim-
ited growth, deregulation, free market
economics, free trade and liberalised
credit, to make rich and powerful even
more so, offering it would “float all
boats” so poorer folks even floated by
“trickle down effect”.
So we’re commanded that all growth
is good and you’re worse than a paedo-
phile priest to even question it.
Population growth is considered a
faraway problem in developing coun-
The only examples of reduced growth
have been where health, education and
family planning have arrived, giving
such people better options than mak-
ing ever more children.
So what do Developed Countries do
We cut Foreign Aid from promised
0.7 to measly 0.2 per cent of GNI.
As well as cuts, USA excludes dona-
tions to NGO’s offering abortion and
even contraception. The score is 60,000
people, mostly children, die from star-
vation each day. Droughts and famine
and rural folks adding to growth in
overcrowded cities leads to civil wars.
Serious death and destruction ensues
with invasion by Western military. Then
the West is “unable to cope” with vol-
ume of refugees.
Except for a few small Gulf states,
Australians are worst emitters of GHG
(greenhouse gases) at 28.1t/p/y (tonne/
Where refugees come from, they’re
lucky if they make 3t/p/y. Each refugee
who catches up with us increases their
GHG emissions by 10 times.
For world population, with just 20
per cent in Developed Countries, it’s
been clear for years that we’re already
consuming 1.5 to two planets worth of
The only trouble is that we need to
reduce our consumption of everything,
drastically. World average emissions
right now are about 5t/p/yr.
Some GHGs are removed back into
land and marine based organisms. But
even at average five, concentration is
So, clearly, we need to get down to
three or so, one 10th of our current
emissions. If we take no notice, re-
sults from nearly 50 years of follow up
science indicate that, for Developing
Countries to catch up, it would take
consumption of 5 planets worth of re-
Some people say that scientists are
at fault for not having spoken out more
loudly. Others say the opposite, that
they cried wolf too soon.
But all of us are the generation re-
sponsible for not recognising that we
are now on the brink of complete de-
struction of the only inhabited planet in
As climate change gets worse, it can’t
be switched off. The ever thickening
blanket of CO2 is up there for centu-
ries, with warmer and warmer extreme
weather havoc underneath and no con-
ceivable techno fix.
We are the only generation with capa-
bility to stop this catastrophe. But we
need to act, quickly, loud and clear.
Can our PM’s COAL-ition be anything
other than stark staring mad? Even
now, they insist we don’t need to take
any precautions and must consume
more and more, to “improve standard
of living, for ourselves, children and
Some people are scared about pros-
pects with Trump. He’s too far away
from here to bother about.
Meanwhile, as Turnbull Inc avoids
meaningful action, it’s getting away with
murder, emerging mass murder, of so
many cute and cuddly species of flora
and fauna, extreme drought, flood,
famine, extinction of so much, even the
Look closely at Mr Turnbull. Be
afraid. Never ending compound growth
is madder than nuclear arms race.
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
It has been very interesting follow-
ing reports in this newspaper since all
councillors were newly elected.
The Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, has
reported every week to the ratepayers
via “Mayor’s message”.
What has been happening with the
other eight councillors since the elec-
I fail to find other weekly snippets
reported about what all the other coun-
cillors have been doing or attending as
Are they the silent eight or do they all
believe they must leave things up to the
Or is the code of silence continuing?
Graham Jolly, Cape Woolamai.
Re: your article on our ambulance
service; these people do a wonderful
job, we all know.
But what puzzles me is that when
the station was upgraded to a 24
hour, I thought that meant 24 hour
attendance at the station.
Yet ambulances are parked out on
the streets at private homes over-
night. This practice is asking for
trouble with so much vandalism
These lifesaving vehicles are not
safe out on the streets overnight. It
only needs a flat tyre to cost a life.
Judy Stanton, Korumburra.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
South Gippsland Sentinel-Times
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PHONE: (03) 5655 1422
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and town location will appear.
CEO, council drops ball on stadium bid
IN ONE fell swoop last Wednes-
day, the Bass Coast Shire, its coun-
cil and administration, killed off all
of the goodwill it built up through
its highly successful ‘Build a Better
Bass Coast’ engagement program
over the summer.
Of course the council should have
committed to its share of the cost
of developing a three-court, high-
ball stadium on the site of the pro-
posed, new Wonthaggi Secondary
In normal circumstances, it
would have been an absolute no-
Clearly the State Government is
strongly disposed towards building,
at long last, a new senior secondary
college on a new site in McKenzie
Street. They’ve sent a steady stream
of Ministers here to scope it out, in-
cluding the Education Minister and
Deputy Premier himself, James
Merlino, while also allocating plan-
ning money in the last budget.
And agreeing to contribute “not
greater than $2 million” to sports
facilities on the college site would
have been a strong vote of confi-
dence in the whole project, while
also being our best chance of get-
ting a highball facility here in the
relative short term.
It would have been used by stu-
dents from the whole region by day,
and by night, open to all comers.
It would have generated econom-
ic activity, and jobs, and kept our
kids off the street.
Now, who knows what damage
has been done to the secondary col-
lege aspirations overall, whilst also
killing off a great chance to piggy-
back in on the school’s funding,
hopefully still to be included in the
May Budget. And the outcry on so-
cial media in the past few days has
been fully justified.
Local families are rightly upset
Unfortunately these are not ‘nor-
And the comments by the Mayor,
Cr Pam Rothfield, in her ‘Mayor’s
Message’ this week points to a
much, much deeper malaise within
the Bass Coast Shire, of which the
tragic loss of opportunity at the
proposed secondary college, is just
Chief among the problems afflict-
ing Bass Coast at the moment are
a toxic relationship between the
shire’s senior executive and the
new council, principally the CEO
Paul Buckley, and a near-disastrous
financial position, exacerbated by
over-spending on salaries and con-
sultants, the eleventh-hour com-
mitment to a $66m/$75m waste
contract, the 2% rate cap, the fail-
ure of the State Government to pay
for visitor infrastructure and an in-
adequate rate base.
We’re as good as broke.
Well, not broke exactly, but our
income is fully committed, as noted
by the Mayor: “Last financial year,
we experienced a deficit of some
$1.2 million with an asset renewal
of only 54 per cent of deprecia-
tion”, meaning we can’t afford to
even maintain the assets we’ve got
Cr Rothfield goes on to say that
the position is set to worsen this
year because the shire’s costs are
running well ahead of the 2% rate
“In good conscience we could
not agree to commit $2 million of
ratepayers’ money to two additional
highball facilities in the proposed
new Wonthaggi Secondary College,”
the mayor said.
Cr Rothfield also pointed to the
dysfunctional relationship between
the shire’s management and the
new council as follows: “We as a
Council learned of the $4.6 million
proposed expenditure for these ad-
ditional highball facilities on the af-
ternoon of the Council meeting last
Of course, this isn’t entirely true.
The councillors had received
their agenda at least a week prior
to last Wednesday’s meeting, with
details including the deadline for
“additional project information”
was Friday, February 17.
But crucially, though, shire of-
ficers could not indicate to coun-
cil, as late as a week out from the
application deadline, the amount
required, listing it as “not greater
than Sxxxx” in the agenda; a ridicu-
lously unprofessional inclusion,
hastily altered before last week’s
Nor did the highly-paid shire ad-
ministration provide sufficient time
for council discussion on such an
The whole thing was a shemozzle.
They dropped the ball, and so
too did the council, however while
these modestly remunerated, part-
time representatives of the people
should share some of the blame
for that, it’s ultimately the job of
the CEO to ensure the council has
sufficient time and information, to
make its decisions.
That’s why he gets the big bucks.
Scheduling a vote on such a key
issue, two days out from the gov-
ernment’s funding deadline, is sim-
ply not good enough.
Listing the likely contribution at
$xxxx, in an official council docu-
ment, is worse.
And, unfortunately, the shire ad-
ministration under Mr Buckley has
form when it comes to missing the
deadline for grant applications.
Cr Rothfield explains the reason
for the 5:4 vote not to commit up
to $2m across the next two shire
budgets as follows: “The Council
is vested with the responsibility of
good governance and equity across
This is code for saying they don’t
want to spend all their money in
Wonthaggi, nor do they want to
make a decision without consider-
ing the financial implications.
So, despite offers by local MP
Brian Paynter to ask the Minister
for a late submission and loud calls
from the community for the coun-
cil to relent, a lot of ground would
have to be covered in the next few
days before the council could have
a change of heart.
The problems in Bass Coast run
deep and unless something chang-
es, there’s more disappointment
and upheaval ahead.
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