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BASS Coast Shire Council is asking Pio -
neer Bay home owners to pay more than $4
million for road and drainage improvements
as part of a special charge scheme.
One will face a bill of more than $50,000.
Council has sent out letters to residents
outlining the estimated costs of four design
options relating to drainage works, speed
humps, sealed roads and other improve-
Pioneer Bay Progress Association presi-
dent Zena Benbow said she received a cost
estimate of more than $14,300 while her
neighbours across the road received one for
at least $17,700.
Ms Zenbow’s neighbours, Ron and Ruth
Kelly, are charged more because they are be-
ing asked to pay for ‘easement drainage’, ac -
cording to the letter sent by council.
“We’ve been rallying to get the streets done
for a while now, ” Ms Zenbow said.
Residents on Kallay Drive are up for more
than $16,600, while a property owner with
a block of land on Beach Boulevard faces a
bill upwards of $53,000, rising to more than
$60,000 if one of the more costly plans goes
Cost estimates vary depending on the size
of the block, whether the property’s on a cor-
ner and if the property owner has to pay for
‘eas ement drainage’.
Council has hosted a series of workshops,
including one with Melbourne Water, to gain
feedback from locals on which improve-
ments were most desired.
Ms Zenbow is concerned Melbourne Water
is not paying its fair share of costs for the
“Melbourne Water is meant to be contribut-
ing to this scheme but the cost estimates that
we’ve received are not that far removed from
the cost estimates before Melbourne Water
was meant to come into the scheme, ” Ms Ze-
For residents who are in Pioneer Bay for
the short term, the investment could pay off.
Real estate agents have told Ms Zenbow
a $15,000 investment now could lead to a
$25,000 increase in the sale price.
“But for people like me who prefer to be
carried out of here in a box, it’s not going to
be of much benefit, ” she added.
Ms Zenbow insists most of the commu-
nity is firmly behind the plans and she was
aware it would cost around $15,000 for the
“There’s nothing in here (the design op-
tions) that isn’t too far beyond what was dis-
cussed in the workshops.
“If we miss out this time, we go to the bot-
tom of the list, and we will have to wait again
and who knows what the cost will be at that
stage, ” Ms Zenbow said.
Melbourne Water has confirmed it will con-
tribute to the project, but is yet to finalise
“We are committed to constructing a diver-
sion pipe that will assist with high flows and
a wetland for stormwater treatment, which
will also contribute to community amenity,”
Melbourne Water acting general manager of
Waterways and Land, John Woodland, said.
“Melbourne Water supports the Drainage
Strategy and is committed to working with
Bass Coast Shire Council to see the project
realised as quickly as possible. ”
Residents are encouraged to contact coun-
cil if they’re concerned about the cost of the
Estimates show council will contribute up
to $470,000 to the scheme.
MURRAY Goulburn’s new CEO, Ari Mer-
vis, completed the co-op’s largest-ever sup-
plier meeting schedule last week with a sweep
As part of 24 meetings in a month, he met
dairy farmers at Orbost and Maffra last Tuesday,
Yarram and Leongatha last Wednesday and War-
ragul last Thursday night, with a visit to Farm
World also slotted in on Thursday afternoon.
It was Mr Mervis’ first visit to Farm World.
He has, however, attended a number of agri-
“This is essentially a meet and greet today. It’s
an opportunity to meet our suppliers and a lot of
them do tend to here, so it’s a good opportunity,”
he told the Sentinel-Times while chatting to visi-
tors to the MG stand at Farm World.
The meeting at Leongatha, at 7.30pm in the
football clubrooms last Wednesday, was attend-
ed by 140 people and was a polite, constructive
affair, according to Mr Mervis.
Local dairy farmers, in turn, say they were im-
pressed with Mr Mervis, while also welcoming
John Spark as the firm’s first non-dairy farmer
chairman, replacing Yanakie’s Phil Tracy from
“We had a constructive, open, direct and en-
gaging discussion. It was honest, open and po-
lite,” Mr Mervis said afterwards.
But there was no pre-cursor to the crucial re-
lease soon of a report on the future of MG’s fac-
tories including those at Maffra and Leongatha
“We didn’t say anything about that. We’re doing
a footprint review which will be out soon. It will
be presented to a board meeting first,” he said.
The ‘footprint review’, which will be MG’s re-
sponse to the loss of almost 30 per cent of its
supply, is expected to bring about sweeping
changes based on its best-value products.
Leongatha is expected to survive the review
but Maffra may not. The review will however
propose a range of changes which will affect all
parts of MG’s operations.
Local farmers say they aren’t concerned about
the review but are more concerned about a re-
turn to profitability for themselves and also for
Mr Mervis joined MG in February 2017 as
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
He commenced his career in South Africa and
was previously Managing Director SABMiller,
Asia Pacific and Chief Executive Officer, Carl-
ton & United Breweries and was responsible for
overseeing operations in China, India, Vietnam,
South Korea and Australia.
Ari has over 27 years’ experience in the bever-
Mr Spark, has an agribusiness background
with five years as chairman of animal nutrition
group Ridley Corporation from 2010 to 2015
and the ownership, until recently, of an Angus
cattle farm in Victoria.
He had 15 years at Ferrier Hodgson that in-
cluded the successful restructuring and return
to profitability of many large Australian compa-
He is a director of Newcrest Mining and had
a previous stint on the board of Macarthur
New Murray Goulburn Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ari Mervis, centre,
made his first visit to Farm World last Thursday, here chatting with board members Bill Bod-
man and Phil Tracy. Former chairman, Phil Tracy, stepped down at the weekend. m281417
MG suppliers impressed with new leaders
into the drains
Pioneer Bay residents, who will be charged thousands of dollars for improvements, from left,
back, Ron Kelly, Simon Mumby, Ruth Kelly; front, Angie Mumby and Zena Benbow. mm081417
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