The South Gippsland Shire Council have a well-practised art of starting things that make it look like they are doing something except they seem to never achieve any growth for us.
1. Council spent vast sums on a Tarwin Lower flood study in 2007 and initiated a planning scheme change. The flood study indicated that there are areas of high ground at Tarwin Lower that were not at risk. Even though landowners were keen to develop land, the council has stymied any development. You paid rates for this work.
2. Council spent large sums on consultants for a 2018 Port Welshpool Marine Precinct Plan and developed a Corner Inlet Development Strategy. This strategy included the Agnes Falls viewing platform and a proposal for a marina at Port Welshpool. The marina caused the council to ask for a further report. The new administrators have now dumped this work even though we have paid rates for the consultants along with $540,000 in your 2019 rates for the Agnes Falls viewing platform.
3. Council had worked with the local community on making a case for an equestrian-expo centre at Stony Creek. The community had established this facility as a number one priority project and we had spent $80,000 on consultants. This project has been dumped without any discussion.
4. In 2018, Council adopted an “Economic Growth and Tourism Strategy”. The administrators have decided we can dump this and spend council resources on having two new committees help come up with new strategies – an Economic Growth Strategy and a Tourist Economy Strategy.
5. In 2019, council spent thousands of dollars on a design for a Korumburra Hub to be built on railway land at Korumburra – land they did not own. Surprise surprise – Victrack said no. To keep everyone happy and look like they are doing something they have doubled up on the spend and prepared plans for a hub on another site. This is a site which has major issues.
6. In 2019, Southern Rail Group came to the council wanting to spend their money on giving us a major tourism project as well as a rail trail. What did our administrators do – they would not entertain the idea and moved ahead to spend $6 million of ratepayers’ funds on the rail trail?
7. In September 2017, the council decided to have a council committee look at the management options for running our loss-making caravan parks. What happened – some 15 months after the announcement the committee was dropped without reporting to council?
Lindsay Love, Secretary, South Gippsland Action Group.