UNDER a binding agreement with the Federal Government, the Bass Coast Shire Council will continue to “deliver modified visitor services” from the Wonthaggi Centennial Centre until it finds a suitable tenant.
Those services will have to be provided for a minimum of 18 months from June 30, 2016, by which time a new council may be ensconced.
What happens after that is anyone’s guess.
At last Wednesday’s Bass Coast Council meeting, the shire council voted to scale-back services but the changes won’t come in on July 1, 2016 as anticipated.
The result is that the shire will save significantly less than the $330,000 it expected to save in the budget, now closer to $161,058, and will have to make an adjustment to the budget accordingly.
A report will also be presented to the council in June as to the outcome of the Expression of Interest process.
The Rotary Club of Wonthaggi, which collected 2245 signatures in favour of saving the visitor information centre, will be informed of council’s decision.
But the shire could save the stamp. Many of the Rotary club members concerned about the council’s attitude to the centre were at the meeting to hear the result and were at least pleased that the visitor centre will remain open for some time into the future.
In February 2016 the council resolved to change service levels at the Centennial Centre. The council decided it could not justify continuing the service in its current form mainly due to low attendance figures.
CEO Paul Buckley said that a number of expressions of interest in the building had been received by the council.
“These expressions will be finalised and presented to the council in the coming weeks.
“There are a number of different businesses, artist groups and community groups who are interested in the centre,” Mr Buckley said.
Cr Bradley Drew said it was a good decision to run a modified information service at the centre.
“It’s an excellent piece of infrastructure. There has also been a request from Rotary that they be involved in the future of this project, which I see as a positive.”
The recommendation to modify visitor services from the
Wonthaggi information centre was carried unanimously by the council.
Visitor info centre stays for now