When the first CEO of Bass Coast council was considering expansion of San Remo town size, he organised a community consultation process which involved both residents and business groups and council staff to ensure all issues were considered.

Local resident Bob Andrews was elected by the first meeting to chair the meetings. An independent company was hired and worked over several months looking at many issues raised, and their final report was accepted and approved by Bass Coast Council and the community. The issue of VicRoads was also raised and as Phillip Island Tourist Rd was not under Bass Council control, a separate committee representing community and business was appointed to deal with VicRoads committee that had been established to look at the highway from Anderson to Cowes.

Now the developments talked about at that time are taking place but the people who had the task of providing the infrastructure needed to handle this expansion. Bass Coast Council saw successive management and councillors who have failed miserably and exactly what was to be avoided is now the reality.

The whole area of San Remo township east of Backbeach Rd is now heading to total gridlock. You only have to look at vehicles including buses and trucks unable to get in/out of town and access the main highway. Earlier this week a double trailer truck blocked the whole corner of Backbeach Rd and Genista Street as there are a number of factories, shops and car parking areas blocking access for the truck and there is no way of turning from San Remo shopping centre onto the Tourist Rd. This is not a one-off situation, including bus services with same problem.

There are several hundred new blocks of land still to be built on plus even more new subdivisions planned, many that can only access the town or highway via Backbeach Rd/Panorama or Genista St. The only other alternative is the unmade section of Shetland Heights/Potters Hill Rd.

If we have problems now, it’s nothing compared to next five – 10 years. If Bass Council continue their “Do Nothing-No Money” approach of last 10 years, it will be a total disaster for all those living in San Remo or anyone trying to access Phillip Island – at this stage [there is] no overseas tourism, but that could change very quickly.

This needs local, state and federal governments to work together, not continually blame each other.

The community has done all it can do but those who collect our rates and taxes need to do the job they are elected and pay them to do or move on.

In private enterprise they would just be sacked.

Chris Day, San Remo