SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

THEY’RE calling Bass Coast and South Gippsland the new ‘Mornington Peninsula’, at least that was the gist of a story in The Age over the weekend.

And it’s true. All of the builders in the area and the volume builders as well, have a massive amount of work ahead of them, 100s of new homes, driven on by the perfect storm of low interest rates, lack of rentals and the first-home buyer grants.

But you can’t sustain a home building boom without new residential land and both South Gippsland and Bass Coast are suffering from a lack of supply, especially in the key towns of Wonthaggi and Leongatha.

There’s a serious lack of new sites in Wonthaggi right now, but the problem isn’t not having enough residentially zoned land in the town, there’s up to five years’ supply, it’s the Bass Coast Council’s lack of expertise to deal the issues that arise when getting the land to market.

It’s not rocket science though. Dozens of other municipalities seem to have no such problems.

We’re told however, that there will soon be an additional 200 to 250 blocks coming on to the market in the Parklands Estate, in the next few months, that will relieve some of the pressure, not only on Wonthaggi but also the coastal hotspots of Inverloch, Cape Paterson and Phillip Island.

But not so Leongatha.

Demand for new housing here as well is strong but the shire has really dropped the ball on this one and left the town with little more than a handful of new blocks at a time of historic high demand.

It’s a serious situation.

And they’re going to have to do some fancy footwork now if they are to avoid the sort of market distortion that occurs, not to mention missing out on jobs, investment and new housing for families; when you don’t have new blocks available.


Patience not patients

On the issue of the day, the vaccine rollout, we’re told there was more effort put into sending out the media release about the Phase 1B COVID-19 rollout last Wednesday than there was about keeping local GPs supplied and informed.

Also, that a political distraction was needed at short notice.

But, now that the local AstraZenaca production has been approved, there’ll be plenty to go around within the next month.