THE Bass Coast Shire Council wants the State Government to pay for another study into feasibility of the Cowes to Stony Point Car Ferry, one that specifically looks at using the existing Cowes Jetty location as the site for the ferry terminal.
It follows months of community angst, including a protest and many angry emails to councillors and the consultants of the business case EarthCheck over the preferred terminal location – mid-way between Mussel Rocks and the Cowes Yacht Club.
On Wednesday night, around 200 people turned out to listen to councillors debate the car ferry, at the Phillip Island Golf Club. Police were also in attendance.
Cr Rothfield believed the recommendation to investigate the Cowes Jetty as the terminal site had merit.
An amended motion, spearheaded by the mayor, also asked the State Government for an Environmental Effects Assessment on the preferred location for the terminal.
The motion passed, but without the support of Cr Michael Whelan, Cr Julian Brown and Cr Geoff Ellis.
“I acknowledge along the way there were missteps,” Cr Rothfield said.
“But I do feel this recommendation shows the community that we listen, we are not hell-bent on ramming through the development of a car ferry infrastructure in a location to which the community is opposed,” she said.
“I fell that this recommendation shows the community does have a voice and the council has listened.”
Council’s also vowed to support the car ferry “in principle”.
“I see this ferry as a potential as being our real public transport option,” she said, receiving laughs from the crowd.
Council will defer a decision on the business case until an investigation is undertaken of whether the Cowes Jetty is a more suitable location for the terminal.
Pictured below: The Mayor Cr Rothfield has ruled out the option that Rhyll would ever host a car ferry saying the need to constantly dredge a channel, other environmental issues and inconvenience for foot traffic made the site completely unviable.
Also pictured the unpopular Cowes Osborne Beach site has been ruled out by the community.