Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : October 31 2017 Contents PAGE 18 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2017
As walk and/or cycle to school
month comes to an end, it really does
look very ordinary when you see pri-
mary school kids doing battle with
traffic in Cowes.
In previous years, a ranger has
been present on the IGA corner, help-
ing kids and conducting a traffic poll.
Even in this quiet season, school
time traffic is evidently as high as
1200 per hour incoming, the maxi-
mum for a single lane.
While there is a 40km/h limit in
front of the school itself, it doesn’t ex-
tend along Settlement Road beyond
the roundabout and certainly doesn’t
extend to Thompson Avenue itself.
Surely this 40km/h limit should be
500 or even 1000m, in all directions
from any school?
Because our roads are so wide and
straight, many drivers do allow them-
selves to get distracted, less aware of
speed, which makes Thompson Av-
enue a race track for some, even at
The roundabout itself is almost
dual lane for traffic width, big enough
for ever bigger semi-trailers and B-
doubles, which makes it “good fun”
at high speed.
Not so gung-ho drivers can be pa-
tient, maybe too patient, gesturing to
kids to cross in front of them at the
roundabout, particularly between BP
Of course, they’re not supposed
to do this, instead expected to cross
three times, Settlement, walk up
50m, then cross Thompson, then
50m back to cross Settlement again,
with only the Thompson crossing
having an attendant.
How much longer will it take for
proper zebra crossings in all four
directions at this roundabout, for pe-
destrians, old and young, back and
forth to school, medical centre, phar-
macy, IGA, vet, chiropractor etc etc?
Of course, those with care but ex-
empt from responsibility, escapees
from Traralgon as managers of shire
or VicRoads, can only visit occasion-
ally, with perspective of only a driver,
just a quick drive up and down, un-
able to “afford” time for perspective
So, decades later, nothing changes.
If you hustle the shire, they duck
shove you to VicRoads and vice ver-
sa, not worth anybody bending their
career out of shape for something so
beneath their dignity.
Considering that Thompson Av-
enue is never likely to be upgraded to
a major interstate highway, continu-
ing to be just a dead end street, and
considering that all other roads in
Cowes are under jurisdiction of the
shire, how about VicRoads should
butt out of the way, so the shire be-
comes solely responsible for Thomp-
It may still take a little bit of luck
and patience but, with VicRoads out
of the way, we could get more prog-
ress on Thompson Avenue. It’s hard-
ly possible to get less.
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
is falling short
Six councillors voted in favour to
grant a favour to the Walkerville Fore-
shore Reserve Committee Of Man-
agement (WFRCoM) at the South
Gippsland Shire Council meeting last
Wednesday, October 25.
By granting this favour, the rest of
the shire’s ratepayers and residents are
likely to miss out on any favours by way
of more and improved parking.
As Michael Giles said recently in the
Sentinel-Times, it is all about protecting
the local piece of paradise and others
can rack off to Port Welshpool or Inver-
Because it’s a shire road, shire rate-
payers and residents will be expect-
ed to maintain and fund it in perpetuity.
Instead of seeking ways to make this
and attractive destination for all, the
WFRCoM wishes to only cater for a few.
This project by the WFRCoM on a
shire road was originally proposed with
the intent of restricting the boat and
trailer park to only 15 parks.
After considerable yelling and
screaming from the Walkerville Blue
Water Boating and Angling Club (Boat
Club) they won another 16 parking
However some of these extra places
were up to 600 metres from where they
may launch or retrieve boats.
The six other objectors were not given
another say as they were told six was
not a sufficient number to be consid-
A councillor’s suggestion at last
week’s council meeting that most peo-
ple had an opportunity to comment on
this proposal is not correct.
Less than 20 adjoining landowners
were notified and only a few days before
In September the WFRCoM said
there was a $61,850 shortfall on the
Walkerville North Foreshore Develop-
ment. The WFRCoM had requested
that the council fund that shortfall.
Council had deferred voting on that re-
quest until this meeting on October 25.
Once again the supposed cost of this
project doesn’t match up with the quot-
ed figures in the Sentinel-Times article.
The $122,000 shortfall actually now
totals a $142,000 shortfall. There have
been reports of $1.5 million in total for
this so called development which in-
cludes the seawall.
If this is so, who is funding it? The
road was flooded to a depth of about
500mm during seawall construction,
and there is no reason to believe it won’t
happen again as there is no apparent
If these works are finished, it is an
unsightly mess and I doubt whether it
would pass a safety audit with all that
Prior to the council meeting of Octo-
ber 25, a comprehensive list and rea-
sons for not funding or at least defer-
ring further works on this proposal
was sent to all councillors.
Deferring this proposal would then
have allowed time for a decent road-
work appraisal and a proper study
with recommendations from experi-
enced marine engineers.
Don Atkins, Walkerville.
Goal kicked with
I received the news of the Wonthaggi
Secondary funding with great enthusi-
asm on Friday.
Congratulations to all concerned.
What an enormous community effort.
And I emphasise the word ‘communi-
ty’. Never have I seen such a combined,
concerted and dedicated effort for a
single project and what an outcome.
Throw in the basketball courts and
you have possibly the most exciting de-
velopment to ever come to Wonthaggi.
It was clear to me from day one that
the rebuilding of the secondary college
ranked alongside the Wonthaggi Hospi-
tal as the two major funding needs for
the Bass Coast.
This issue had been a political foot-
ball for far too long and the locals cer-
tainly reminded me of this.
The community needed a new school.
Overcrowding, outdated facilities, lack
of sporting facilities combined to make
the old school well past its use by date.
But this was never just about a new
school. It was more than that. It was
about providing an opportunity to lift
the educational hopes and aspirations
of the people of Bass Coast.
We deserved a school that was fit for
modern day teaching methods, equip-
ment and buildings that will enable
each student to reach their full poten-
tial and the teachers the opportunity to
reach new professional standards.
The people of Bass Coast marched
with their feet and forced the govern-
ment into making a decision. The
squeaky wheel was finally heard. It has
certainly provided a blueprint for oth-
ers that are seeking government fund-
ing. People can’t be ignored forever and
at some point of time the political moti-
vations and the needs of an area align.
The political football has finally been
kicked through the goals and I couldn’t
be prouder of the efforts from our local
community. Now for the hospital!
Brian Paynter MP for Bass.
The shared path in Inverloch can be
a hazard when walking along the path
and bike riders come from behind you
with no warning they are approaching.
A simple ding on the bell or a “Bike
coming” call would make the walk a lot
safer. And a little less speed from some
would be appreciated.
If you are not prepared to warn the
walkers then don’t ride on the path. It
should be compulsory for all bikes to
be fitted with a bell. I also notice the
lack of bike helmets. Is Inverloch ex-
empt from compulsory wearing of bike
Robert Scott, Inverloch.
a new name
The time has come for the electorate
of McMillan to gain a new name.
An opportunity occurs every seven
years for the community to comment
on the boundaries of the electorate that
might need to be changed to stay within
the required population range.
More importantly in Gippsland, we
have the opportunity to rid ourselves of
the name of a murderer.
Angus McMillan was responsible for
the massacres of hundreds of men,
women and children in the 1840s, sig-
nificantly contributing to the near anni-
hilation of the Gunnaikurnai people in
little more than a decade.
His intent was to clear the land for his
(and the colony’s) pastoral ambitions,
and the Aboriginal people were ‘in the
way’. There is evidence from diaries,
newspapers and letters that these mas-
Professor Lyndall Ryan from the
University of Newcastle has this year
published a map of the massacres that
took place in eastern Australia between
1788 and 1872, with irrefutable evi-
dence of McMillan’s leadership of four
massacres amounting to 200 to 300
killings. Peter Gardner provides evi-
dence of greater McMillan involvement.
The Gunnaikurnai people under-
standably loathe the notion of McMillan
and living within an electorate named
And at last we, non-Aboriginal peo-
ple, have come to realise that names do
The Bass Coast South Gippsland
Reconciliation Group believes it is of-
fensive and unworthy of a fair-minded
community to retain this name now
that we understand what he did. Mc-
Millan has brought dishonour and
shame to our community.
The Australian Electoral Commis-
sion (AEC) has called for submissions,
due in by 6pm on November 17, com-
menting on the boundaries or the nam-
ing of the electorate.
The Reconciliation Group and many
people and organisations we have talk-
ed to are making submissions.
We argue that the name of McMillan
should be expunged from the federal
Further, we argue that the name to re-
place McMillan should be chosen by the
Aboriginal communities who carry the
legacy of his atrocities and those whose
land the electorate occupies, the Gun-
naikurnai and the Bunurong people.
Through the leadership of key Ab-
original organisations forming a broad-
ly representative naming committee,
the Aboriginal community will delib-
erate and consult and find a mutually
agreed name as soon as it can, and will
recommend this name to the AEC at a
later, comments stage of the redistribu-
The move to change the name has
bi-partisan support. The electorate’s
sitting member Russell Broadbent has
advocated it for years, and at last the
tide of public opinion is turning suffi-
ciently for the change to be effected.
You can make a brief or longer sub-
mission to the AEC and can find the
place to do it at: https://formupload.aec.
We would urge you to commend the
process of the naming committee being
given naming rights.
Dr Margaret Lynn, secretary, Bass
Coast South Gippsland Reconcilia-
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
South Gippsland Sentinel-Times
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It’s good news week in Bass Coast!
A LOCAL estate agent friend of
mine said at the weekend how ex-
cited he was that the Wonthaggi
Secondary College had finally re-
ceived the funding it needs to go
ahead and develop a new, 21st
century senior campus on a green-
field site in McKenzie Street.
He says good education and
sporting facilities are two of the
key things people are looking for
when they consider moving to
an area and the $32 million an-
nounced for the school, part of
which ($6 million) will go to a new
three-court sports stadium, will be
a great selling point.
Sure there’s a generous helping
of self-interest in those remarks
but what’s good for new residents
coming to the area is also great for
the local economy, for jobs and
the families who are already estab-
lished here in Bass Coast.
There’s no doubt that these sorts
of major announcements, and the
facilities when they are built, will
lead to an acceleration in growth
and development in the area.
And we applaud the Bass Coast
Council for getting on board with
$1.5 million towards the project
but it’s up to them now to make
sure we have a ready supply of
new residential land to cater to
the demand that is already com-
ing our way, especially if the shire
wants to direct that growth into
the place that can best handle it
That’s not to say we don’t want
to see improvements at Inverloch,
Phillip Island and the Western
Port towns but certainly in Inver-
loch and the Island’s case, there
are already heavy development
The reality is that this area has
been sorely neglected in almost
every area of public spending,
with the possible exception of
tourism, for far too long.
And unfairly, that’s largely been
because of the “safe” status of
our State and Federal electorates,
although that could be chang-
ing where the seat of Bass is con-
We’re delighted with the an-
nouncement by the Premier Dan-
iel Andrews last Friday as one of
the most important funding initia-
tives in the region’s history.
And good manners dictates that
we leave it at that for now.
But there are also pressing de-
ficiencies in health, public trans-
port, local government and social
facilities that need attention.
For now though, it’s a huge
thank you to everyone who got
behind the campaign to get a new
senior campus of the Wonthaggi
Secondary College for Bass Coast.
Generations of local kids will be
the main ones to benefit and we
look forward to seeing them shine
even brighter in the future.
This photo of Mernda Central College, in the Whittlesea area north of
Melbourne, visited by WSC representatives recently, provides an insight
as to the type of facilities you can expect to see at Wonthaggi 2019. It
was designed by the WSC architects, Clarke, Hopkins and Clarke.
Wonthaggi Secondary College is thrilled with the announcement that pro -
vision for our new senior campus has been announced by the Premier,
This is a particularly exciting moment in the history of our College.
The establishment of our new campus, on the land available in McKenzie
Street, will not only provide a high quality physical environment for our
students but also provide an important community asset for the wider
Bass Coast area.
With our colleagues at the Bass Cost Shire and other partners, in our
work as part of the Bass Coast Education Reference Group, a new cam-
pus has long been considered the ideal basis for addressing our goal
of enhanced provision in Bass Coast. It is an important first step in es-
tablishing an Education Precinct with its associated targets of modern
facilities for our school, enhanced community facilities and the potential
expansion to include further training opportunities for young people in
It is very exciting! We have always taken great pride in our students and
their success. We look forward to continuing our proud history in our
21st century facilities.
Darren Parker, College Principal, Wonthaggi Secondary College.
Open letter to the WSC community
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