By Nathan Johnston
CLOSE to 50 Venus Bay ratepayers attended a meeting at their community centre on Sunday evening to find out where their rates were going.
Behind Leongatha and Korumburra, the towns of Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower combined contribute the most to the South Gippsland Shire’s rate pool, but there’s not much to show for it.
The main shopping strip in town is livelier than it used to be, but outside of that, Venus Bay is stuck in a 70s time warp.
The reason for that is that nobody can agree on what’s best for the town, and the council is quite happy to use that as an excuse to do nothing.
The main point of contention is the unsealed roads.
Some like the gravel streets as they slow traffic and it suits the natural ambience. These property owners are also not interested in paying a $7000 special charge fee to have the reads sealed.
Then there are those who are sick of the dust covering their homes and filling their lungs.
There was a similar debate a few years back when the council wanted to introduce a more formal kerbside waste and recycling collection system to town. Some wanted it, while others didn’t want to pay for the service when they were only there a few weeks of the year.
The council is planning to build a skatepark in Venus Bay, but even that was questioned by a ratepayer who said there were more pressing needs.
So, what does Venus Bay want?
Sunday’s meeting, hosted by the South Gippsland Rates Challengers, might not have provided the answers the ratepayers were hoping for, but it might prove to be the catalyst for a united front.
An Easter meeting, when most of the holiday home owners will be back in town, could be an ideal opportunity to sort it out.