FOR years and years they’ve been telling the shire council, to leave the open space reserves at Venus Bay alone.
And finally, it seems, the constant drip, drip, drip of their water torture technique is having an impact on the South Gippsland Shire Council.
In the shire’s new council plan it is considering reviewing ‘the Land Realisation Project in regard to Public Open Spaces in Venus Bay’.
And the Friends of Venus Bay Peninsula (FVBP) took the opportunity last Wednesday of the council’s 2017-18 Budget and Council Plan Hearing to reinforce the position yet again.
FVBP member, Lorraine Norden, kicked off proceedings with a submission about how much the open space reserves were needed while highlighting the voluntary efforts put in by locals to maintain them.
“Where the community has shown such a passion for these reserves why do they need to be sold? The reserves and open space are why we moved to Venus Bay,” she said, noting that it wasn’t only environmentally important for the reserves to be retained but economically prudent as well.
“Businesses in Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower rely on the influx of holidaymakers over the summer period. Sustainable tourism is the fastest growing sector of the market,” she said.
“Locals and tourists come for the unspoilt environment, the peaceful village atmosphere and the chance to interact with local fauna – kangaroos, swamp wallabies, wombats, koalas and echidnas.
“Removal of vegetation not only removes habitat for our native fauna but also destroys the amenity of the area. Once that is gone, Venus Bay will have lost its special appeal and the reason for visitation.”
As well as reviewing the policy of selling open space land in Venus Bay, she said there was still time for the new council to save the two threatened reserves at 3-5 Marine Parade and 30A Inlet View Road from sale.
Another member of Venus Bay Friends, Jill Upton, also addressed council, saying that more open space “breathing hole” land, not less, was needed across the Venus Bay settlements, especially as vacant housing blocks were being cleared for the expansion of housing.
“It’s not fair, it’s not equitable,” she said that the amount of open space in Venus Bay was being allowed to fall well below the shire’s target of 5 per cent.
And they’re making it exceptionally hard for the shire council to reduce costs and make a quick buck on the sale of vacant land.
Venus Bay refuses to give up on vacant land grab