ISLAND Ward Councillor Michael Whelan has announced he will recontest the upcoming council elections in October.

“In these uncertain times, I believe there is a strong need for experience and continuity on the council,” Cr Whelan said.

“I am pleased with what we have managed to achieve during my first term as a community-based representative, but there a number of key projects and issues that are vital to the future of Phillip Island that will benefit greatly by my continued involvement.

“These projects include the:

* Cowes East erosion plan.

* New Transit Centre.

* Jetty Triangle redevelopment.

* Smith’s Beach Masterplan.

* Supporting the Bass Coast Climate Emergency Plan.

“I also pledge to continue to work to address the climate emergency, preparation of the plans for the new recreation precinct at the carnival site to have projects shovel-ready so that we can pursue government grant money for a new aquatic centre, highball stadium and playing fields, as well as a fresh focus on pathways and active transport.

“The Cowes Cultural Centre is underway and when finished will revitalise the centre of town. We have the money, we have quality architects and we will soon contract the builder. This will provide first-class performance spaces, conference facilities, exhibition space and a new modern library and museum space. The grounds will be inviting and provide inviting outdoor gathering spots for locals and visitors.

“This $20 million investment will inject a strong stimulus into the local economy at a time when many businesses are suffering the worst economic shock of our lifetime. Local building will bring in money and spending at a time when we need it more than ever.

“The Phillip Island Transfer station is underway, we have the land and it is important that this facility becomes a model of sustainability and a link in the circular economy. There will be a masterplan prepared and I will work to ensure that the additional land is used for community purposes, for example a community farm and food hub, community energy project, wetlands and work with council partners such as Westernport Water who own the adjacent land.

“I am proud of the performance of the Island Ward councillors who have worked together effectively to get these issues on the agenda and into budget.

“There has been a marked improvement in the way councillors work together over the past four years,” Cr Whelan said.

“Working cooperatively and as an Island team has delivered substantial benefits across the board for Phillip Island.

“And I particularly want to express my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to long-serving and Island resident, Pamela Rothfield for her leadership as mayor for two years and the representation she has provided to the wider Phillip Island community.”