THE threatened closure of the Inverloch Transfer Station is for many in the local community the straw that broke the camel’s back.
That’s the view of Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association President, Kevin Griffin, who with members of his fledgling group, called a rally last Sunday, October 2 to protest against that and other objectionable initiatives of the Bass Coast Shire Council.
A crowd of more than 150 people attended the event at the Inverloch Recreation Reserve, where speakers also took the opportunity to highlight other points of interest to election candidates sprinkled through the throng.
Newspapers reporters and a camera crew from WIN-TV News Gippsland were present at the event, filming the speeches and interviewing Mr Griffin.
The Mayor of Bass Coast, Jordan Crugnale, stood silently at the back of the crowd and listened on as five members of the association took to the microphone to express their disappointment in the current regime.
Speakers on the day included President of the Inverloch Tourism Association, Dom Brusamarello, and ex-councillor Ross Smith.
In his opening remarks to the crowd, Kevin Griffin said that the decision to close the transfer station was the last straw.
“I am just an ordinary ratepayer, with the best interests of the community at heart,” Mr Griffin said.
“But the decision to close the transfer station was based on a sham consultation and it had no strategic basis. The publicity put out at the time was flawed, a fact that was highlighted by the local media and picked up by Mr Brusamarello.”
Several of the candidates in the running for the Bunurong ward were present at the rally, using it as an opportunity to speak with members of the public, and to gauge the current political climate in Inverloch.
“It’s important to learn and to be aware of what’s affecting the local people most. I’m on record as saying that this transfer station issue needs to be revisited,” candidate Mohan de Run said.
Brett Tessari, who is also standing for a position on council, said that he and fellow candidate Max Wells were working together to ensure the people of the Bunurong Ward had a voice.
“This election I feel is all about listening and speaking to the public,” Mr Tessari said.
“No one has done that yet, and we think that we can.”
Not everyone at Sunday’s rally was moved by the speeches and protests against the current council.
Inverloch resident Ed Thexton, who is in support of the closure of the transfer station for environmental reasons, said that too often the same group of people were simply protesting against any form of change within the community.
“In Inverloch, the near or totally retired continue to project and protect their personal world view, saying: “We speak for the town.”
“I’m just constantly reminded of the Dylan Thomas quote: “We rage against the dying of the light.”
Nearly 200 signatures were gathered at the rally to a petition which will be presented to the incoming council, demanding that they rescind the decision to close the transfer station.
The petition also requests that the incoming council look into a new waste management centre for Phillip Island.
Regular council meeting attendee, Peter McMahon, said that events like Sunday’s rally were an important indicator of the general mood of the community.
“Every public voice that is raised needs support,” Mr McMahon said.
“The council really should to start listening to the people.”
Ratepayers rally against council