The South Gippsland Shire Council under the direction of the Andrews’ government-appointed administrators appears to be suffering the same malaise – no responsibility and government by committee as the government.
The Andrews’ government, wishing to hide from accountability for the hotel quarantine debacle appointed the Coates Commission of Inquiry – an exercise in shifting taking responsibility.
At the council level, we have high-paid senior directors and administrators who do not live in the shire.
To avoid taking responsibility for making positive decisions about the future of the shire, these overpaid bureaucrats have now appointed various advisory committees to push any forward actions some 12 months away – basically to coincide with the administrators vacating the scene for a new council.
The council will trumpet that they are doing the Mirboo North Pool, the rail trail works, Bair St and the hub at Korumburra. They were all projects the previous council put in place. At the same time, the council has stopped the Agnes Falls viewing platform and the equestrian/expo centre.
The South Gippsland Action Group has presented a raft of positive ideas to support tourism development and growth for the shire. The council has ignored all these works. They even turn their backs on projects that they have spent thousands of dollars on with preliminary studies – i.e. – the Port Welshpool marina.
The community see that our neighbours in Bass Coast, Baw Baw or Latrobe are doing things and that investment is flowing into their municipalities. The South Gippsland Shire is not taking the actions needed to create the local opportunities. There seems to be a paralysis of action.
This shire has had a low public satisfaction survey result. It stems from an administration that seems to see the community as a nuisance.
We have had media spin that they are doing much to help businesses survive the COVID-19 shutdown.
When people have asked the council for a list of tourism businesses, they have been fobbed off with a referral to a website where the controlling body is defunct, and the website does not even list all such businesses. It only carried a listing of businesses that supported the previous body with membership.
Most people would assume that a council who was supposedly supporting local businesses survive the pandemic would have had a readily available business list which enabled them to quickly correspond and assist local businesses.
Perhaps our local chiefs have been infected by the sickness of the Andrews’ government – “I cannot remember”.
Lindsay Love, secretary, South Gippsland Action Group.