News about the council having fumbled the application for grant for the highball stadium is obviously disappointing.
From previous experience, meeting shire people for guidance, about what kinds of topics might help them to address climate change problems, the first answer was they couldn’t do anything because the shire doesn’t have any money. Of course, they must be doing something to continue to be paid.
The second answer was that they’re always busy, updating plans, which are needed so that applications to State, for grant funding, are convincing. Evidently State expects every topic to be included as an element of the 30 Year Plan.
This may not be a command from State but, allegedly, other shires do this, so that they win, while shires without such gloss keep losing. So, allegedly, shire folks spend most time juggling updates to lots and lots of plans but how do they decide which and when?
At a ‘Build a Better Bass Coast’ session, in the opening address, the main objective was a request to tell the new council what they needed to do.
My immediate reaction, in context of Cowes, was “make a difference”. This remark quickly felt empty and unkind, except for trying to visualise what difference previous council had made in the streets of Cowes.
Turning around, Kimberley Brown was close by. So, politely asking what kinds of results had consumed most time and effort, the answer was the big plan for Cowes, long term tourist plan and others.
Inevitably, there are rarely any new plans. Previous ones are excavated from the cobwebs, debated, edited and added to by the latest consultant, which means they just keep getting bigger, which means more time and money for reviews, with fewer and fewer people prepared to bother.
Finally, when decisions are made, the bigger they are the more trivial is the process, often no more logical and rational than the flip of a coin.
Checking a while ago, it looked like shire people are targeted to chase PDS points(professional development seminars) about how basic nature of planning, leading to more events to prioritise topics, then address likely stake holders, then green paper, then white paper, then full community consultation etc, etc, etc.
Sure would be useful to get a few shade sails in Town Square, relocate a few park benches into shade under trees and won’t even start on need for traffic/street design changes in Cowes.
Can the shire please advise any way to ‘de-complexify’ whatever it is that they do? Main speaker, key person on de-amalgamation of Mansfield Shire, at big event about Island de-amalgamation, emphasised that you get much more effective when you can bump into shire/council people in the street. They hear what you care about and can’t get too carried away with delusions of their own.
Would it help to expose a list, of summary data, already collected, of how many plans are on the go, how many person hours and dollars, whether or not they’re meeting the timeline and what rate of success and fail?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
Shire planning or not?