In response to Bass MP Ken Smith’s comments (‘MP says Bass Coast hasn’t applied for funding, October 14, page 6), it’s a fact South Gippsland Shire, with a smaller budget than Bass Coast, gets almost 30 per cent more than Bass Coast in government grants.
Baw Baw Shire gets 85 per cent more than we do.
Mr Smith seeks to blame the Bass Coast Council and me personally as I was the Mayor for a year.
It should be noted that it was during my term as Mayor and in the first year of the new council that we appointed a new CEO and new grants officer.
Mr Smith notes that the council performance has improved since the arrival of the new CEO Mr Buckley.
Have we sought funding in Bass Coast?
Yes we have.
The Master Plan for the hospital and the work to secure a new secondary school were completed in 2010 – we have had some minor hospital announcements since but are still waiting for the commitment to the full Hospital Master Plan and the Education Precinct remains in limbo.
Phillip Island Nature Parks has sought investment in a new Visitor Centre.
Public health, education, roads and tourism are all very important issues that require funding.
Rather than make the major announcements required, the Napthine Government is ‘feeding the chooks’ with a series of small announcements but avoiding committing to the full programs required.
The situation regarding grants is regrettable but the new council elected just two years ago has worked hard with the new CEO and grants officer to remedy the problem.
Peter Ryan in South Gippsland has done well for his electorate with the list of his announcements of funding for projects there.
This is what I would seek to achieve for Bass.
If elected, I would work closely with the community and would make it the responsibility of staff members to be fully involved in making sure councils and community groups are aware of grant and other funding opportunities.
My staff and I would be available to help those groups who needed additional help to write submissions.
At the end of the day, a local member should be collaborative with community groups seeking the best for the community; that is really what a local member should be doing.
Clare Le Serve (Independent Candidate for Bass), Corinella.
Bass needs fairer funding