How can we make Bass Coast better?


By Michael Giles

HOW’S the serenity? No really! It’s a famous line from The Castle of course, but it’s also been used to describe what people like most about Bass Coast.

So, what do you value most about Bass Coast?

If you turn up at one of the remaining Bass Coast Shire Council community engagement sessions, this week and next week, you can give your views.

Is it the lack of over-development, the amazing coastline or the community cohesion?

Do you like the village feel, the natural environment; the beaches, waterways, wetlands and hills?

Or is the important infrastructure such as our hospital, schools and sporting facilities more important.

These and many other Bass Coast likes were recorded by the good numbers of people who attended the drop-in sessions at Coronet Bay and Cape Paterson on Monday and Tuesday this week.

They were there to register their views as part of the new Council Plan and Long-term Community Vision planning process.

They also talked about cats and dogs, with the cats, it must be said, copping a bad rap.

“Cats should be kept inside from sunset to sunrise and made to wear bells to warn the birds,” someone said on a Post-It note at the Cape Paterson Community Hall.

Dog owners too were brought to heel.

“There should be large signs warning of big fines for dogs off leads and more poop-bag stations.”

More weighty issues were canvassed as well.

“What about having a riding and walking path between Inverloch and Cape Paterson?”

“More development like the Cape Ecovillage, please,” said another.

“Restrict Amendment C136 to 100 houses and reduced the town boundary of Cape Paterson.”

There was also feedback on the shire’s Health and Wellbeing Plan looking at such issues as:

  • Preventing all forms of violence
  • Increasing active living
  • Improving mental wellbeing
  • Reducing tobacco-related harm
  • And promoting healthy aging

As Community Wellbeing Officer Alisha Gilliland explained, council is a participant with other local agencies in promoting health and wellbeing in the community in many of its forms.

It could involve providing sufficient recreation facilities or supporting other community groups to provide activities and interest for older locals, kids and families.

Ms Gilliland was one of a number of shire staff members on hand keen to assist attendees wanting to record their views or to simply discuss what council has planned.

Cr Leticia Laing and Cr Ron Bauer also attended several of the sessions this week, and others, including the Mayor Cr Brett Tessari, on his return from Canberra, will also be on hand to chat.

Bass Coast Shire Council is engaging with the community throughout March and April, as part of the development of the Council Plan 2021-25, Long Term Community Vision and 10-year Financial Plan.

There are a number of in-person sessions, online Facebook Q&A sessions, an online survey and a paper survey that the community can use to provide feedback on what they would like to see for the future of Bass Coast.

The Long-term Community Vision sets out the direction for what Bass Coast will look like in the year 2040, the Council Plan outlines the actions that will be taken to work towards the Vision during the current Council Term, while the 10-year Financial Plan provides the detail on how investment will be made to deliver on both the Long Term Community Vision and the Council Plan.

So, what do you think is needed most in your area and in the shire generally? Either attend one of the drop-in sessions or simply go on line and record your views in the survey.

Community engagement sessions to come:

* San Remo – Wednesday, 17 March, 6.30pm – 8.00pm, San Remo Recreation Centre

* Wonthaggi – Monday, 22 March, 6.30pm – 8.00pm, Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club

* Kernot – Tuesday, 23 March, 11.00am – 12.30pm, Kernot Hall

* Rhyll – Wednesday, 24 March, 6.30pm – 8.00pm, Rhyll Mechanics Hall

* Cowes – Monday, 29 March, 6.30pm – 8.00pm, venue to be confirmed

* Grantville – Tuesday, 30 March, 6.30pm – 8.00pm, Grantville Hall

* Inverloch – Wednesday, 31 March, 6.30pm – 8.00pm, Inverloch Community Hub Hall.