Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : April 25, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2017 - PAGE 7
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Forest Fire Management Victoria worked late into the night on Wednesday and into the
early hours of Thursday morning igniting fires and patrolling the burn-off at The Gurdies
Nature Conservation Reserve. mm051717
The Gurdies burn-off
AUTHORITIES have conducted a 28-hect-
are burn-off at The Gurdies.
Crews worked from 10am, Wednesday,
April 19, to scrape up ground fuel and ignite
The burn-off was managed by the Kernot-
Grantville CFA and Forest Fire Management
Victoria, a sub-branch of the Department of
Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Burn Officer in Charge, Matt Green, said
crews on Wednesday ignited fires and spent
the next few days patrolling the area.
“Basically it’s a fuel reduction burn. It’s a
28-hectare burn that’s a series of mosaic
burns,” Mr Green said.
“Over the past 10 to 15 years we’ve burnt
patches along here to stop any major fire run
coming from the north to the south of Grant-
ville and the farmland in that area.”
Mr Green said the burn-off would reduce
the severity of any fire that comes through the
area in the next 10 years.
“This whole block would be a couple of hun-
dred hectares, so we’re only biting off a small
corridor to stop the run of the fire.
“A lot of the bark has been burnt off the
trees, so there will still be a little bit of ground
fuel, but for a major fire to run through here
it’ll get slowed down significantly.”
Signs telling drivers there was “smoke” and
“burning off ahead” were placed on both sides
of the Bass Highway.
Bass debt blows
out to $16.8 million
THE Bass Coast Shire Council has just pro -
duced a controversial new budget which relies
on $4.3 million in new borrowings and consid-
erable success with government grant applica-
tions to make it fly.
Rate increases have been capped at 2 per
cent but the garbage charge is up by almost
$50, from $327 to $374, for a new three-bin
Total rates and charges for the 2017/18 year
are expected to be $54.9 million, which is an
increase of 5.3 per cent on the year prior.
At the end of the 2017-18 financial year, the
shire expects to have blown its borrowings out
by more than $3 million to $16.8 million, re-
sulting in an interest rate bill, going forward, of
more than $700,000 per annum.
South Gippsland Shire, by comparison, will
have borrowings of $3.35 million by June 30,
And while Bass Coast is preaching wage re-
straint in its draft document (“Employee Cost
increases have been contained to 2.15% from
2016/17 budget”), staff wages are expected to
increase by $1 million a year over the next four
years, hitting $33 million by the 2020-21 finan-
There are no reductions in staffing levels,
staying at 314.6 EFT over the four years.
Highlights in this year’s budget include an
$18.6 million capital works program, down
from a forecast $20.5m this year; featuring
$1.6m to renovate the arts centre in Wonthaggi,
$1.7m to provide offices for Phillip Island Na-
ture Parks in Cowes, $467,000 for the Bourne
Creek Pedestrian Bridge (rail trail) renewal and
$408,000 to extend the Surf Parade pathway in
There’ll also be $1.325 million towards the
cost of the Cowes Transit Hub but first the
shire must get a $900,000 contribution from
the government; $745,000 for traffic lights in
Wonthaggi’s CBD and $100,000 for the Da-
lyston netball courts.
The Dalyston changerooms are also to be re-
developed at an, as yet, undisclosed cost.
The shire will also commit $1.5 million to the
$6 million cost of a new shared sports stadium
in Wonthaggi, however this is not counted with-
in the capital works budget because it will form
part of the proposed Wonthaggi Secondary Col-
lege senior campus building project should it
be funded as expected in the May State Budget.
All things considered, it’s a potentially excit-
ing mix of asset renewal, service delivery and
capital improvement but the devil is bound to
be in the detail and the community has until
May 30 to get a clear picture of what’s in and
The public consultation period starts at a
Special Meeting of council in Wonthaggi at 5pm
this Wednesday, April 26 where Council will
consider the draft documents. They will then be
holding drop-in sessions where you can come
along and have a chat about the draft budget
and the draft council plan it seeks to deliver.
Sessions will be held on:
• Monday, May 15 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at
Cowes Cultural Centre Hall
• Tuesday, May 16 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at
Grantville Hall, and
• Monday, May 22 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at
Inverloch Community Hub.
There’ll also be an online Q&A on Tuesday,
May 23 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at www.face-
Submissions to the draft plan or pudget can
be made in writing by emailing basscoast@
basscoast.vic.gov.au or by mail to Bass Coast
Shire Council, PO Box 118, Wonthaggi, 3995.
If you wish to speak to your submission, you
must advise council in your email or letter.
Submissions will be heard from 4.30pm
on Wednesday, June 7 at a Special Meeting of
After unnecessary delays and hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on consultants’
reports, the shire will now borrow $408,000 to extend the Surf Parade pathway to Veronica
Street, Inverloch next financial year. m101717
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