We have greatly enjoyed our first two years as residents of Phillip Island and were delighted to have the opportunity to attend the Bass Coast Shire Council meeting on December 14 at Cowes – and we were well-satisfied by the experience.
As with other residents who attended the meeting, we were eager to see more positive directions for the Island, as part of the overall shire.
We were impressed by the conduct of the meeting and the deliberations.
It was obvious that some other visitors at the meeting were disappointed that the council decided not to proceed immediately with some proposals, including aspects of the Cultural Centre and the pool.
From our perspective, these decisions were responsibly taken, as financial foundations for much of the work require further clarification.
It would have been easy for the council to follow the recent global trends towards popularist policy design and decision-making and to accede to the demands of resident groups.
In these financially volatile times, it is most important to move forward within the current financial capabilities of any organisation, which is what the council appears to have done.
Clearly, the door is still open to proposals but all decisions need to be wisely considered.
We came away from the meeting, understanding more about the workings of the council and what the new councillors appear to offer.
We also realised that this council appears to be well-led and adopts a responsible decision-making approach, based upon sound business and financial management… all of which is essential in managing the multi-million dollar enterprise that is the Bass Coast Shire Council.
At a time when there is dissatisfaction with governments in many parts of the world, the Bass Coast Shire Council has an opportunity to showcase a style of local government that reflects an administration that demonstrates the transparency, communication, connection with community and accountability that is both possible and essential in any vibrant society in the 21st century.
A good start, so far. We will follow progress with great anticipation and interest.
Peter and Honey Spence, Ventnor.