Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 21, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017 - PAGE 5
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Inverloch tip to
THE Inverloch Transfer Station, which was
slated to be shut down by the previous Bass
Coast Shire Council, is now to remain open.
The decision was made at last week’s coun-
cil meeting on Wednesday with councillors
voting to keep the station running at its nor-
mal operating hours.
Bass Coast Mayor Pamela Rothfield said
the council reconsidered the decision of the
previous council to close the facility, follow-
ing calls from the community to keep the site
“Keeping the Inverloch transfer station
open is a result of listening to our commu-
nity, ” Cr Rothfield said.
“Councillors have committed to being rep-
resentative of our community’s concerns and
I am delighted to see this in action. ”
Cr Julian Brown moved the motion, asking
that the council also provides a progress up-
date on the potential establishment of a new
transfer station on Phillip Island.
Head petitioner and president of the Bass
Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association,
Kevin Griffin, said the decision to retain the
transfer station was wise.
“Last Wednesday’s council meeting was
proof of the improved governance and in-
creased transparency that is being intro-
duced to the administration by our new
councillors,” Mr Griffin said.
“ In regard to the decision to retain the In-
verloch transfer station and to re-establish a
transfer station on Phillip Island, I have no
doubt that the local and surrounding com-
munities will be very pleased with that deci-
“The Inverloch transfer station is a valu-
able community asset that has served the lo-
cal area for more than 30 years.
“The decision taken by the previous coun-
cil was made on ideological grounds, and
without any substantive evidence of the need
to close the station.
“During Wednesday’s debate councillors
pointed out that significant costs had been
added to Phillip Island businesses as a re-
sult of a previous decision to close the Island
transfer station, and that illegal rubbish
dumping had soared on the Island.
“This decision to retain the Inverloch sta-
tion and re-establish the Island station is a
direct result of efforts of the many hundreds
of community members who made their feel-
ings known to council.
“This is coupled with the fact that we now
have a council comprised of people who un-
derstand that, as our elected representa-
tives, their primary role is to represent the
interests of the community rather than to
drive their personal agendas.
“I ’m confident that this council will contin-
ue to implement good governance at council
in the interest of the community. ”
Who pays for bad conduct?
THERE was uproar in the South Gippsland
Shire Council Chambers last week, and the
common denominator again was Cr Don Hill.
Hardly had the Mayor, Cr Ray Argento, fin-
ished the customary prayer, at the start of a
Special Meeting of Council last Wednesday
afternoon, than Cr Meg Edwards and Cr Hill
jumped to their feet almost in unison.
But Coordinator of Corporate Services and
Council Planning, June Ernst, gave it to Cr
Edwards by a nose and she got to move the
changes to the Councillor’s Code of Conduct
as recommended by the officers.
Cr Hill was livid.
“That’s not law, I have moved an alterna-
tive. Just waving your hand around doesn’t
amount to moving a motion,” Cr Hill said.
Cr Maxine Kiel, the Deputy Mayor, agreed
Cr Edwards was first up and that’s the way
the mayor ruled, putting Cr Edwards’ motion
on the table.
For all the difference it made, Cr Hill then
moved an amendment to the motion, ulti-
mately lost on a vote of 6:3. But the subtext to
the motion is that it could actually affect his
own hip pocket.
Cr Hill is still running an appeal through
VCAT (only finalised in recent weeks), over
a negative finding against him during the
last council regime, and there’s debate about
whether or not he should have to pay any as-
sociated costs himself.
As part of an amendment to the new coun-
cillor code of conduct, Cr Hill wanted to see it
inserted that “Council must bear the costs of
proceedings if Council has resolved to apply
to VCAT for a review under Section 81 Q(2) of
the Local Government Act, unless VCAT oth-
You wouldn’t think it could be applied ret-
rospectively, but in the absence of a clear di-
rective, it could have been used to indicate
Unfortunately for Cr Hill, the status quo
stands: “Each party to an application for re-
view of a decision of a Councillor Conduct
Panel will be required to bear all their own
Cr Edwards welcomed the rejection of Cr
“If we breach the code, we should wear the
consequences. We can’t expect ratepayers to
pay if we do the wrong thing,” she said.
Cr Hill also wanted to free up policy discus-
sions by council and objected to a condition
about staff being present which he said was
inserted into the code without the prior ap-
proval of the council.
Having lost the day, though, Cr Hill has not
been prepared to abide by the umpire’s de-
cision and has moved a Notice of Rescission
which will be heard this Wednesday, February
22 at yet another Special Meeting, at 11am –
the final day on which the Code of Conduct
must be signed and submitted to the State
He claims legal grounds for the challenge.
It will be council’s third attempt to settle on a
suitable Councillor Code of Conduct.
After much protesting from the commu-
nity, the Inverloch Transfer Station will now
remain open, operating at its current hours
Cr Don Hill wants ratepayers to pay if
councillors are accused of behaving badly.
Dangerous road improvements
WORKS to improve the safety of Wonthaggi-
Korumburra Road are set to begin.
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
said the upgrades will help to reduce the sever-
ity of crashes by 50 per cent.
Works will include the installation of flexible
safety barriers, shoulder sealing at high-risk lo -
cations, curve warning signs, pavement mark-
ing, the removal of hazards such as vegetation
and upgrades to guideposts.
The sign improvements, guideposts and
pavement markings will help drivers to better
anticipate hazards while safety barriers will
prevent vehicles from leaving the road.
On the Wonthaggi-Korumburra Road, there
were 47 crashes over a five year period end-
ing December 31, including 16 serious injury
“The road had been the site of run-off road
crashes – particularly in rainy conditions, at
dusk and when glare is high - and we’re taking
action to fix them,” Ms Shing said.
“These upgrades will help all road users to
slow down on curves and will reduce the risk
of drivers hitting roadside hazards should they
veer off the road.”
The Safe System Road Infrastructure Pro-
gram is funded by the Transport Accident Com-
mission and delivered by VicRoads.
This program is an important part of the
government’s Towards Zero road safety vision
which is to have a 15 per cent reduction in seri-
ous injuries and less than 200 deaths on Victo-
rian roads by 2020.
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