I am writing about your article ‘Council ‘no’ to wetland reserve extension’.
What should have been a no brainer or a win/win decision is now a classic stuff-up!
A simple lack of innovative long-term thinking seems to have led to the decision by Bass Coast Shire Council to refuse the proposal which would have put 40.6 hectares of sensitive Rhyll wetlands (and Ramsar site) into public ownership at no cost to the ratepayers of Bass Coast or the taxpayers of Victoria.
So, most councillors agreed that the land in question should be in public ownership but in considering the proposal before them, not one councillor put forward a suggestion of how this was going to happen. They voted that the land remain in private ownership with a Rural Conservation Zone which means in effect it can continue to be farmed.
What is concerning to me is that five councillors ignored the advice of their professional staff who according to the minutes of the Council meeting, “concluded that the proposed rezoning and subdivision is strategically justified and that a planning scheme amendment should be commenced to ensure that all affected parties, the community and the Council have their say”.
Instead Council voted not to seek authorisation from the Minister for Planning for this process to begin, thus denying interested parties and the community any say whatsoever. This is the action that infuriates me as a ratepayer.
We have people making decisions on our behalf who have no innovative long-term vision and by refusing the means by which this sensitive land could have ended up in public ownership in perpetuity, it will now remain farming land in private ownership.
I wonder who would think this is a great result for the future?
Well obviously five people do.
Daryl Hill, Camberwell.