It appears the Shire [of] South Gippsland administrators are intent in just filling in time until their term expires in October.
The only works that have started in the shire during their tenure are works planned by the previous elected council.
No new capital works or projects have been planned.
In fact, the administrators cut well-supported projects like the Agnes Falls viewing platform and the Stony Creek expo centre and dropping local tourism promotion.
What has the council done for the past 12 months? They handballed any new ideas to volunteer advisory committees. These committees have been in operation for over six months.
Council does not require them to at least give an interim report. The problem with an interim report is that the administrators might have to actually do something before October. If they can delay the committee reports until June, they can then leave all action to the new council.
In the meantime, under the administrator watch we will have done nothing to plan for the future.
The South Gippsland Action Group (SGAG) has lodged idea after idea with council of ways to either grow the shire activity or boost tourism. The council does not even put the ideas to the community to discuss. Perhaps that problem is due to the fact that council has not been able to even develop a new Community Engagement Policy.
If council had acted upon the SGAG concept of ‘Growth for Reduced Rates’ back in 2017-2018 then we may have had some additional areas around the shire available for all the people looking to escape Melbourne to actually relocate to.
Instead, the shire has missed out on much of the ‘tree change’ wave that has accompanied COVID lockdowns.
Even now, when the administrators can see the demand for space in the shire, they refuse to actually get busy and do something. It should be remembered that Administrator Brown actually acknowledged the need for growth in his opening address to council in 2019. It is now obvious they were just hollow words.
Bring on October and councillors who actually care about what happens in the shire.
Lindsay Love, South Gippsland Action Group secretary.