A MAJOR rejuvenation of Wonthaggi’s streetscape – similar to what is already in the pipeline for Cowes – could be next on the list, according to Bass Coast Shire Council.
Economic Development and Tourism manager, Peter Francis, said the council is eager to participate in planning for the Wonthaggi Activity Centre Plan alongside Wonthaggi Business Association (WBA).
“This will be a great community engagement process and provide a strategic basis to pursue funding for projects,” Mr Francis said.
“There was discussion at the WBA meeting last week about this issue and the WBA is keen to be involved.”
However, significant funding would be needed, likely from both the council and State Government, before such a project could proceed.
In the meantime, Mr Francis assures that the ‘Heart of Wonthaggi’ revitalisation project endorsed by council in 2014 has not been forgotten.
In fact, he points out that a number of the project’s initiatives have been implemented.
“Two of these are the introduction of a pilot pop up shop in the arcade and the laneway art, which is now prolific in Wonthaggi and the concept of a laneway festival which the WBA is taking the lead on,” he said.
A better CDB
THE plan to revitalise and reinvigorate the CBD of Wonthaggi doesn’t start and finish with the laneway improvements.
The WBA has continued with its monthly Sunday markets, has launched several customer loyalty and ‘shop locally’ campaigns and worked at developing the sense of community among Wonthaggi business people.
Now they are looking to the Bass Coast Shire Council to do its part.
The council’s efforts to date were discussed at length at the meeting.
At a council meeting on July 16, 2014, councillors unanimously moved the following motion: “That Council endorses: The preparation of a conceptual public realm Master Plan for the ‘Heart of Wonthaggi’, subject to external funding being received.”
It followed recommendations from a consultants’ report, the result of a Streetlife grant from the State Government.
So far, the shire has looked at introducing ‘pop-up shops’ and free public wi-fi in the town but the project also called for further consultation with the business community, the development of a master plan and initiatives designed to revitalise the ‘spine’ of Wonthaggi – along Graham Street and McBride Avenue.
One of the council’s principals is ‘Transparent evidence-based and inclusive decision making’.
The local traders would welcome exactly this where the CBD is concerned.