WHERE do you throw out a large piece of furniture on Phillip Island?
Ideally, you’d drop it off at the transfer station – if the tourism hotspot had one, despite years of campaigning following the closure of the Rhyll tip.
So it was a kick in the guts when the Bass Coast Shire Council revealed it only received one application for the tender to design, construct and run a transfer station on Phillip Island, and for which it didn’t provide value for money.
Now the council’s looking to other “options” – which is code for negotiations. Councils have a strict tender process they need to follow, but if the process has officially closed; there’s nothing stopping them from negotiating directly so they can get their “value for money”.
Cr Stephen Fullarton, who moved the motion to get a report into options of the future development of a station at next month’s meeting, said Phillip Island needs the facility they used to have.
“This whole issue of a transfer station on the Island has gone on so long… the entire community’s fed up with it,” he said.
“Over summer, if you’ve got half a trailer load of rubbish you can’t take it down to Cowes, you’ve got to fight your way through the traffic to get to Grantville and it’s just totally unacceptable.”
But Cr Michael Whelan raised concerns around the one-month timeline for shire officers to write up the report.
“If we were actually looking at options and with further input from the community perhaps, it would certainly require more time,” Cr Whelan said.
But council chief executive officer (CEO) Paul Buckley said he was interpreting the motion as a “where to from here”.
Cr Whelan insisted he wasn’t opposing the idea to come up with further options, but said the one month timeframe was wrong.
After the meeting, Mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield said it was disappointing the tender process didn’t “provide us with the results we were after”.
She said there was a rigorous tender process which did not see council exposed to any legal or financial risk.
“I understand our residents’ frustrations regarding the issue of a full transfer station on Phillip Island. It has been an ongoing issue and one we have tried to solve since being elected.
“What I can’t fault is the process. We have gone out to the market, not once but twice to find an appropriate tenderer to express an interest in the design and operation of a transfer station.
“The tender review recommendations made it clear to us that the offer received was not suitable, especially based on the proposed costs, supporting documentation and in comparison to other Gippsland councils.
“We have a duty of care and obligation to manage our finances responsibly. Waste management is a core function and service of the organisation and our waste contracts have to reflect the best value for our community.”