We note in last week’s issue (March 23), the editorial comment to the effect that growth in South Gippsland Shire was not happening and that the “shire had dropped the ball”.

The South Gippsland Action Group (SGAG) has been presenting growth concepts to the former councillors and the administrators over the past three years and we basically had the message back that we do not really consider ideas in presentations – thanks, but no thanks. Our initial thrust was ‘Growth for Reduced Rates’. The sacked councillors were supportive.

The new administrator chair attended our July 2019 meeting and indicated our plan was “very advanced thinking”. At the July 2019 council meeting, new administrator in his first speech to the community is on record as saying that the shire needed growth.

So, we have had both councillors and administrators give support to the concept of growth for South Gippsland Shire. The only acknowledgement has been to create two advisory committees and send the idea “down the road with the bucket” for an outcome at a later date.

The Sentinel-Times’ comment points out – “It is now a serious situation. And they are going to have to do some fancy footwork.”

SGAG recently published an open letter to the council outlining some growth ideas for a “road map for the future”.

At this stage, there is no reply or comment from council.

The sad part for the shire is we have had these ideas in the public realm for three years and no action has emanated from the Smith St castle.
Note the councillors supported growth and the administrators notionally support growth. Why has it not been encouraged in the shire? What is the common denominator in creating the atmosphere and conditions for growth? The administration has been asleep at the wheel and still is.

Residents of the shire – you need to canvas the views of prospective councillors to growth in the shire. If you want all the services you envy at larger councils, then we need to have the shire grow. Our neighbours are booming and we need to get on board as soon as possible.

Lindsay Love, South Gippsland Action Group secretary.