THE Bass Coast Shire Council plans to spend $21 million on capital works projects in the 2018-19 year and increase the Garbage Charge by $38 per rates notice.
The council has released its draft budget for the 2018-19 year, with many sports and recreational projects for the shire.
It includes a $45,000 contribution to the Inverloch Sound Shell, and upgrades to the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre and Corinella Hall. There’s also:
• Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Wonthaggi, change rooms roof replacement – $100,000
• Wonthaggi Bass Coast Child Care Centre refurbishment – $236,000
• Phillip Island Football Club change room renewal – $700,000
• Phillip Island land acquisition – $2 million
• Wonthaggi Depot renewal – $200,000
• Dalyston Pavilion replacement – $1.1m
• Cowes Skate Park replacement – $500,000
• Cowes Netball court renewal – $500,000
• Bass Coast Rail Trail Bourne Creek pedestrian bridge renewal – $400,000
• Contribution to Wonthaggi CBD traffic lights – $794,000
• Surf Parade, Inverloch path from Veronica Street to Goroke Street – $926,000
• Rehabilitation of Loch-Wonthaggi Road, Kongwak – $300,000
• Rehabilitation of Ventnor Beach Road, Ventnor – $317,000
• Renewal of Bourne Creek (Kilcunda) Trestle Bridge – $400,000
• Works and signage for the Corinella Boat Ramp car park – $45,000
While rates in the shire have been capped at a 2.25 per cent increase, the council’s upped the Garbage Charge by $38.
A spokeswoman for council said the increase includes the full impact of the three bin system and additional charges in the overseas recycling market.
Those changes are China vowing to only accept a cleaner version of recyclables.
At their April meeting, councillors approved a waste contract variation of up to $76,220 to cover the increased costs to recyclables from May 1 to June 30.
Based on those figures, it will cost up to an extra $457,320 a year following China’s strict recycling rules.
Deputy Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said a little bit of foresight would’ve prevented the situation.
Cr Michael Whelan reminded councillors they unanimously supported a motion following the ABC’s War on Waste program, urging the State Government to explain how money collected from landfill levies was being used to invest into the waste industry for new technologies.
Some countries crush up glass into fine sand to use in road making.
“A responsible country would be managing its own waste,” Cr Whelan said.
“It’s our responsibility. China don’t have responsibility, it’s very much that third-world attitude we’ve got, although China’s probably more first-world than we are these days.
“But that old attitude that we can dump our rubbish in Asia and they’ll look after it for us. It’s time we stood up.”
In a report on the waste issue, shire officers said: “Council is currently undertaking a due diligence exercise with its Waste Collection Services contractor Wonthaggi Recyclers Pty Ltd as part of negotiation for a longer term contract variation beyond 30 June 2018.”
Once that “exercise” is complete, council will receive yet another report into the issue.
Councillors also unanimously adopted a Community Waste Disposal Voucher Policy, formalising a council position to offer six, one cubic metre loads of waste to be taken to council’s transfer stations at no cost for local not-for-profits.
The vouchers are ideal for charities, who sometimes receive donations which aren’t usable and can’t be on-sold or given away.
There’s also a large network of community groups in the shire who occasionally deal with illegal dumping or clean-ups.
Cr Clare Le Serve said over the years, the waste voucher system has been a bit “ad hoc” and the policy “cleans the matter up”.