THE embattled South Gippsland Shire Council, under administration, is set to axe its unpopular Local Law Amendment changes before the official cut-off date for consultation.
The Council will decide whether to discontinue the proposed Local Law Amendment altogether at its Council Meeting next week.
But it’s clear the chorus of public opinion has had a major impact.
A report in the agenda for next week’s meeting recommends that the amendment is abandoned and that they discontinue the consultation process for General Local Law (Amendment 1 of 2019) at 5pm on December 18, 2019, and that Council continue to use the un-amended 2014 Local Law.
“This is a result of the obvious lack of community support for the proposed amendments,” the council said in a statement this morning (Friday, December 13).
Since the beginning of consultation in October Council has undertaken:
• Thirteen presentation and question sessions at community meetings;
• One-on-one phone and in person conversations;
• Twenty-two information stations and submission boxes across the region, and
• Reached in excess of 114,000 people via Council’s communication channels including social media, local newspapers, community newsletters and formal interviews with other mediums including radio and television.
The consultation period is currently due to conclude on January 10, 2020.
South Gippsland Shire Council’s Chair Administrator Julie Eisenbise noted the importance of reviewing the current Local Law amendments out for consultation.
“The Administrators have requested a report for the December Council Meeting following the significant community concern over the proposed Local Law Amendment.
“We have been actively listening to our community and it has been made clear that the majority are concerned that the Local Law Amendment will impact the amenity of their properties and some businesses.
“The Local Law Amendment came from a previous Council decision in relation to the Cat Curfew and Dog Leash Order, and while our intention was to understand community sentiment this has clearly been provided and we will deliberate appropriately on the matter next week,” said Ms Eisenbise.
Local farmer and well-known endurance motorcycle rider, Steven Riley of Koonwarra has welcomed the development.
“Kids have been learning to ride a motorbike safely on farming land for decades and I wouldn’t like to see that stopped by a poorly thought-out local law change. You want to see the kids testing themselves out first, maybe falling over a few times, and dusting themselves off. That’s what life’s all about.
“I’ve often hosted people doing just that at my place and whether I’m there or not at the time shouldn’t be an issue.
“I believe it’s a safety issue as much as anything else. Let the kids learn how to ride and enjoy themselves.
“In the vast majority of situations it’s not a problem, it’s just fantastic seeing kids and their parents enjoying happy times together.”
Brad Snell, another of those opposing the Local Law changes has said “it’s not over yet”.
“I will still be submitting the petition today and looking for a presentation spot. The media release speaks nothing of ongoing consultation and nothing about key objectives.”
He’s not letting the council off the hook yet.
Those wanting to watch a decision made in action on the Local Law Amendment are welcome to attend the Council Meeting on 18 December at 2.00pm in Council Chambers, Michael Place, Leongatha or view the livestream on demand at www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/live