As a part time resident of Inverloch for the past 17 years, my wife and I endeavour to take an interest in local events and the history of the area.
To this end and because we both are keen on the local history of our home area, we recently visited the Inverloch Historical Society’s photograph display on the day of the recent Regatta.
We were so impressed at the enthusiasm of the committee members and conversely, so sympathetic to their unsuccessful attempts to gain council support for a more appropriate and permanent headquarters.
We understand that the society has been actively lobbying the council for the former Rangers Hut as a headquarters to accommodate its important memorabilia material and to locate the old Inverloch Jail at the ‘Rippleside’ display area.
This strategy would create a most enviable and appropriate Historical precinct and provide appropriate recognition of the heritage of the area.
As a former councillor for over seven years and a dual term shire president, I am at a loss to understand the attitude of the Bass Coast Shire Council and the associated lack of support to the issues I have raised.
Whilst I am not privy to factual information and am perhaps stepping into contentious terrain and could well be proven wrong, from what I understand, I cannot see any significant cost impact nor any unsurmountable logistical impediment to utilising the establishment of a permanent facility and the establishment of the foundation of a historical precinct.
I understand that the Rangers Hut is currently used by the Yacht Club for drying clothes or similar which could possibly be done in a converted shipping container or similar within the club’s property and thus releasing this building to the historical society.
Also, I understand that the society has been unsuccessful in obtaining council’s support and relevant approvals to erect the small former jail as described above.
Such a lack of support for a societally important community group and its significance to the area is in my opinion a clear contradiction of the fundamental role of local government.
Let’s face it, it would not result in more dogs or a major adverse environmental issue, both of which appear to dominate a lot of the local council’s focus, and I suggest, particularly Cr Crugnale’s focus.
I urge the council to provide the Inverloch Historical Society with a more appropriate and deserved level of support.
Peter Marke, AFSM JP MAICD.