The recent South Gippsland Shire Council meeting saw six councillors voting for $61,850 for the foreshore infrastructure upgrades at Walkerville North.
This makes the total ratepayers’ amount $192,500.
Expert information provided to me detail serious deficiencies in this project including the erosion of part of the beach sand, the erosion effects of seawater spilling over sections of the road, the lack of drainage causing rainwater to bank up against the road and others.
In addition, costings for this project are all over the place like a dog’s breakfast.
Documentation lists early estimates at $292,880.13. After that we have a new amount of $490,856.10 going to another amount of $702,880.33 to the latest amount of $900,856.10.
Experts regard this as a seriously flawed project and six councillors continue to provide ratepayers’ money.
Opinions provided insist that this project is seriously flawed in engineering, financial and construction aspects and soon serious issues will be evident.
Cost estimates suggest that a final project cost of $1.5 million is probable. That estimate does not surprise considering the type of construction contracts – cost plus – are used.
The final straw is that the request for the extra funding was accompanied by the comment that the committee had the money available to complete the project but wanted to keep this for other projects. I think that is some arrogance; using ratepayers as cash cows.
As a resident of Venus Bay having the unfortunate experience of seeing virtually no money spent in this area over the past 10 years while the current 15 year plan provides for a total of $42,000, I find the actions of these six councillors unacceptable.
I have noticed several outstanding candidates in the Promontory Ward who were not elected and I am of the opinion that they would have provided far superior service had they been elected to council.
I know we have some time to go before the next elections but I would ask that Frank Oostermeyer and Vincent Morfuni would announce their candidacy again.
Venus Bay in particular, as a badly and sadly neglected area, deserves much better than the neglect I see everywhere.
For example: Inlet View road, one of the few sealed roads in Venus Bay, is badly eroding starting with the bitumen crumbling and disappearing at the sides.
Council, in their infinite wisdom decided to “repair” this by filling the holes up with sand. Seriously!
As an area attracting more visitors than Wilsons Promontory and the second highest rates contributor to council’s finances, we recognise that other areas in the shire are equally important, but this blatant discrimination is unacceptable and must be addressed soon.
Council rates are far too high!
Gus Blaauw, treasurer, South Gippsland Action Group, Venus Bay.