Why is South Gippsland missing out on growth?

South Gippsland Action Group (SGAG) has promoted the concept of increased residential growth in the shire since 2018. We pushed the growth for reduced rates concept and found some support from the previous council. When Administrator Brown made his initial speech to council in July 2019, he also accepted the shire needed growth. SGAG over the past two years have presented council with a great number of ideas to stimulate growth in the Shire. All these ideas appear to fall on deaf ideas.

In August 2020 we presented the tabulated building statistics for the surrounding shires. It painted a sad picture for South Gippsland Shire. In the Herald Sun newspaper of January 25, the top 18 municipalities for building approvals were listed. These were given as the hotspots for Home Builder Grants from the State Revenue Office figures. It was interesting to see that our neighbouring shires were on the list but SGSC was not.

No     Shire               Grant Approvals-Applications
10      Bass Coast           521
11      Baw Baw              468
12      Wellington          466
18      East Gippsland  339

These figures represent between $100 million and $160 million of building activity. That’s probably over 500 jobs or more into these shires with all the extra trade also filtering into the building supplies as well.

Why is South Gippsland Shire missing out on the action? Is it because the out-of-town administrators and senior staff do not care? All these high-paid leaders get paid even if they do nothing to create growth for our shire. Their big effort has been to outsource the ideas to an advisory committee. This means these supposed leaders who are funded by our rates can pass the buck for no action for at least 12 months until the advisory committee has reported.

If the above shires can put in the conditions for growth then surely we should be able to expect our leaders could do the same. The big shame is that they are busy telling us how to live our lives and forgetting that they themselves need to actually do things to make the action happen. Roll on October and the election of councillors who will not just rubber stamp all that emanates from the Shire bureaucracy.

Lindsay Love, Secretary, South Gippsland Action Group