SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

ONE of the basics of human life, and something we can definitely deliver in such an affluent country as Australia, is everyone should have a place to put their head down at night.

Everyone is entitled to housing.

But, especially as far as Bass Coast is concerned, and to a lesser extent South Gippsland, the authorities have really dropped the ball on this one.

OK, we accept that the community wants to stop or at least control, the release of new land for housing on Phillip Island, at Inverloch and also Cape Paterson.

But the other side of that plan was that there must be blocks of land, ready to be built on, at all times in Wonthaggi.
That’s the place that has been identified for the lion’s share of Bass Coast’s residential growth, where the community infrastructure is going and a strategy that will take some of the pressure off our coastal towns.

The Bass Coast Shire Council will tell you they’ve done their job, they’ve rezoned plenty of land for future housing development, especially north-east of the town, in the area between Korumburra Road and Inverloch Road (Bass Highway).

But for whatever reason, it has been taking far too long for the developers and the shire to get these blocks on to the market in a timely manner.

Some say the shire hasn’t got the engineering grunt to make it happen.

Some say it’s the developers who aren’t getting on with the job of rolling out the infrastructure.

Some say it’s South Gippsland Water, or some other government process that’s holding the job up.

Whatever the reason, it’s simply not good enough and early in 2022, someone needs to step in, crack a few heads together, and get this done.

And the man for the job is the retiring Minister for Planning, Housing and Child Protection, Richard Wynne, who is due to retire at the next election anyway… so what’s he got to lose!

If the shire needs to employ some special engineering consultants to get this job, and such projects as their ‘special charge’ road and drainage schemes over the line, they need to do it.

The more people that can get into new housing, the more older housing stock there will be to go back on the market or into the rental pool.

It’s the key social issue of the day and fast becoming a blocker to economic activity as well with those wanting to move to the area for employment and business unable to get a foothold here in Bass Coast.

The South Gippsland Council also needs to review the availability of land for housing where it’s most needed in the shire.

No excuses with housing in 2022… get it done!