With regard to the recent issues facing residents in the South Gippsland Shire, I submit the following examples of council’s ineptitude. I sincerely hope that our newly appointed monitor will act on them.
Six years ago, I applied to build my house, ensuring I complied with all relevant council regulations. The planning officer appointed by council stymied my application with misleading instructions. This required letters to the Council CEO, the Council Ombudsman and the State Government, and it cost me about $18,000, spent on lawyer’s fees, three unnecessary planning amendments and about 14 months in extra rent while this was sorted out.
During this debacle the officer’s manager backed her up, not only stating that she was happy with the officer’s performance but insisting that she be retained as my planning officer.
I was given no choice and had to write the cost off. Further, I received no contact from the CEO or any recompense whatsoever. I have kept every email relating to this incident if the monitor should wish to contact me.
Again, in response to the recent application to hold race meetings by a local motor bike club, I opened a Facebook page to state the case for objections.
The club’s response was to garner support from bikers living outside the area, and together they flooded my page with filthy language, insults, intimidation and threats, to the point where I had to close it down.
Do we really want this type of bogan behaviour in South Gippsland?
I don’t. I want these people to know that I have copies of texts and a screenshot of a threat where the writer actually posted that he knew where I live, then threatened to come to my house with one hundred of his mates and would force me to leave.
At a public meeting to discuss this and other problems with this application a local councillor attended, proceeded to take over the meeting, then shut me down each time I tried to speak, a fact noted by others present.
South Gippsland Shire Council needs to be accountable and it needs to change. I can only hope that the new monitor will take action and recommend that the existing council be given its marching orders, and that a new council be installed.
Carolyn Burton, Leongatha South.