IMPROVEMENTS to medical facilities and a hospital on Phillip Island were among the hot topics discussed at a council-run community session in Bass on Thursday, January 12.
The Bass Coast Shire Council welcomed members of the public along to the session to contribute their ideas and thoughts to the planning of future projects within the shire.
Although the new council is in its first week of a month-long consultation period, more than 350 people have completed the online survey, and 120 people have made contributions via the shire’s Facebook page.
“People are really rushing to give us feedback, which is great news,” said Christian Stefani, from Coordinator Governance and Engagement at the shire.
Residents from Phillip Island, Bass and Grantville were in attendance at the council community session on Thursday, and were happy to contribute their ideas and thoughts about what could be improved about the shire.
Terry and Dawn McCormack, who have owned a holiday house on Phillip Island since 1974, are currently in the process of shifting down to live permanently in Bass Coast.
“We came along today because we’re moving down, and we wanted to get more involved in the community, to see what’s happening and to put forth our ideas,” Terry said.
“I’d like to see a hospital on Phillip Island, I’m amazed there isn’t one there,” Dawn said.
“I was just interested in coming along and seeing what ideas would be proposed, and put forth to the council,” Julie Adkins from San Remo said.
“I think there’s potentially too much development on Phillip Island, particularly in Cowes. It’s starting to look a lot like an inner suburb of Melbourne.
“There’s also the difference between the larger supermarkets on the island verses the smaller shops. It seems like the smaller businesses are struggling while the larger outlets thrive.”
Topics discussed at the Bass consultation session included a hospital for Phillip Island, fishing and boating facilities, youth activities, a supermarket for Grantville, improvements to local parks and paths, and a swimming pool for Phillip Island.
“We believe our community must be active participants and collaborators in the development of our future plan,” Mayor of Bass Coast, Pamela Rothfield said.
“It’s only early days for our ‘Help shape a better Bass Coast’ campaign, and we’ve already had an overwhelming, positive response from people putting their ideas forward. We know how passionate you all are about your own slice of paradise within Bass Coast and this is the time to show it.”
Cr Rothfield said ideas and comments were flying in, and that attendance at the sessions and pop-ups had been extremely promising.
“In two weeks, we’ve already had over 400 surveys completed, collected hundreds of comments on social media, and had face-to-face conversations with at least 150 people,” Cr Rothfield said.
“We’ve also had over 2,500 emails sent out to community groups, organisations, businesses, committees and residents, and have been advertising through our local newspaper and radio.
“To top that off, we’ve reached over 25,000 people on Facebook with our targeted posts to-date.
“This is by far the biggest consultation project Council has ever undertaken, and we’re all very excited to see it grow even bigger in the second half of January.”
Common themes across the Bass Coast Shire include roads, waste, paths and trails, boating and fishing, car parking, arts and culture, accessibility, sports and recreation, economic development, tourism, education, youth and children, health, environment, public transport, parks and town beautification, and planning.