South Gippsland Shire (SGS) Councillors are aware there is a Concept/Strategy being promoted to create a spike in the population growth trajectory of the Shire (currently 1.4% p.a.).
If adopted, the benefits for SGS are enormous. Whilst the plan evolved from being a ‘Rate Management Strategy’, it has morphed into being much more encompassing.
Without going into great detail here, it is sufficient to say it would bring SGS to a level where we will be comparable to our neighbours, instead of falling further and further behind.
The plan entails more or less doubling the size of SGS’s population by 2036 as opposed to going from 30,000 to 36,000 people, as is currently planned.
It can be done and it should be done! Contact johnmccombe1@bigpond.com for information on the ‘South Gippsland Shire Growth’ plan.
It is expected that Korumburra will be one of the first towns in the Shire to experience the proposed population increase.
That leads me to question the adequacy, of the existing proposal for the creation of the Korumburra Community Hub in the Railway Yards.
I expect the size of the proposed multi-purpose building will have been made based on the current population trajectory. It is already acknowledged that the current proposal has only limited parking and users are expected to find parking in nearby areas.
VicTrack may not be too impressed with that situation. There is a lot of ratepayer money, and hoped for Government grants, going into the current projects mentioned above – currently the tab would be about $13 million – and that only includes the first part of the two-part Eastern extension of the GSRT.
Has the engagement of the firm, SGS Economics (to undertake a cost benefit analysis of the trail from Leongatha to Clyde & other connections, such as Nyora to Woolamai), been a case of putting the ‘cart before the horse’?
Given I expect to see the needle of the population spike moving well within five years, I am concerned the rapidly rising $13 million plus may be injudicious spending.
The population ‘spike’ envisaged considerably enhances the case for both the return of the trains and the creation of both intra and inter town bus services.
Both would obviously require use of the railway land.
No ‘commercial’ operation would consider spending money on planning to construct on land they did not control, when there was no tangible plan for that situation to change within a committed and contracted time frame.
The SGS Councillors should remove the ‘rose coloured glasses’ and take a realistic view of these projects – start with having a good look at what SGS’ CEO Tim Tamlin actually said – not what you think he said – when he announced the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the lease(s) pertaining to the future of the railway land.
For instance, why is encroachment onto the land by others a barrier to progress in one situation, but okay when it is applied to the proposed use of the Korumburra railway yards?
I’m about removing barriers to progressing SGS, and I am certainly not in favour of adding more problems, that will then only have to be dealt with in just a few short years!
We all need to be thinking bigger!
John McCombe, Leongatha.