Four years ago the community voted in six new Bass Coast councillors out of seven in response to the previous council apparently being asleep at the wheel.
Mr Ross Smith, a councillor in that previous council, is now asking for this council to be voted out of office via a letter to the editor on September 6.
Do you remember four years ago, at the end of that previous council’s term; potholes everywhere, drains not functioning, our assets falling apart and the main streets looking shabby?
Why was that? Well, in the last year of Mr Smith’s term on council just $4.65 in every $100 of your rates was going directly to asset maintenance, renewal, and well, there was nothing much available to build anything new (I know, I couldn’t believe it either when I got onto council).
At the end of my term on council, that is now $16.23 out of every $100 of your rates being spent directly on maintenance, renewal, and money for matching government grants for new assets.
That’s three to four times what it was at the end of Mr Smith’s term, now going to what the community wants to see, as opposed to a black hole of operational expenditure (mainly salaries).
New assets include drainage of rec reserves, tennis and netball upgrades, surf life savers’ emergency access ramp, playgrounds and toilet blocks, bicycle paths…
Have you noticed the level of general maintenance – cracked footpath repairs, painting our assets, reroofing halls – and how many potholes have you seen on council roads recently?
This council has a vision for the future, a 10 year plan, something we’ve never had before, and finally the ability to deliver on that.
Adopted precinct plans and a commitment to only promise what we can deliver.
Coming up; a shared path from Inverloch to Wonthaggi, revitalisation of the Wonthaggi Union Arts Centre, a new aquatics and basketball courts complex, a contract in place for a kitchen and garden waste bin to commence next year
While we can, and will do better than the $16.23, imagine where we would now be with the government rate cap if this council hadn’t addressed the structural problems we inherited.
Please consider carefully before voting out all sitting councillors.
Cr Neil Rankine, Bass Coast Shire Council.