FOLLOWING through with their promise to the community, the Bass Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association has demanded that council keep the Inverloch Transfer Station open via a petition.
More than 600 signatures were presented to the council on Wednesday, November 23 via a petition calling for the Inverloch Transfer Station to remain open.
People from across the community and from all parts of the shire put pen to paper to demand the council rescind the decision made by the previous council to close the facility.
The petition also asks for the reinstatement of a transfer station on Phillip Island by the end of 2017.
President of the Bass Coast Residents and Ratepayers Association, Kevin Griffin, presented the petition to CEO Paul Buckley.
“Basically the petition is calling for the new council to rescind the earlier decision to close the Inverloch station, and to reinstate a transfer station on Phillip Island by the end of next year,” Mr Griffin said.
“Firstly, there was no proper or genuine community consultation undertaken by the previous council.
“When they did attempt to engage with the community at the two sessions at the Inverloch Community Hub, the overwhelming majority of people there said that they didn’t want the station to be closed.
“Also, the report on which the previous council based their decision was entirely lacking in the substantial evidence that would be necessary to support the decision to close the station.”
The petition will lie on the table at council until the next council meeting due to be held at the Cowes Cultural Centre on Wednesday, December 14.
Councillor for the Bunurong Ward, Julian Brown, said when he was a candidate for the council elections he was in favour of keeping the transfer station open for the people of Inverloch.
“During the election I made it clear that I wanted to see the station remain open,” Cr Brown said.
“I was happy to see a petition put forward in the last council meeting. And I’m still very much in favour with moving forward to keep the station open. I’d like to do that as soon as is practically possible.”
Cr Brown also addressed the petition’s call to reinstate a transfer station on Phillip Island.
“I’m very happy to sit down with all the other councillors and discuss that option with them,” Cr Brown said.
“I know it is a concern on the island since they’ve had their station removed and at this stage I’m happy to enter into discussions.”
The previous council made the decision to close the Inverloch Transfer Station in August citing financial and environmental concerns.
The petition presented to the council has the endorsement of more than 600 community members from across the shire, including Keith Godridge, the former shire engineer for the Shire of Woorayl.
As one of the two most senior executives in the shire, it was Mr Godridge who was charged to safely and securely cap the old landfill site.
Mr Griffin said that the ratepayers association is hoping the new council will listen to the voices of the community, and work to keep the transfer station open.
“We want council’s acceptance of the petition, and to rescind the decision,” Mr Griffin said.
“It’s early days, but so far the association is very pleased with how the new councillors are engaging with the community, particularly the councillors for the Bunurong ward.
“They are far superior to the previous council, and have the skills and ability to manage the CEO and executives on the board. The previous council didn’t seem to have that ability.
“Councillors, your decision in regard to this petition will undoubtedly be recorded as one of the hallmarks of your first 100 days in office.”