On a hot evening in Cowes last Saturday night around 120 people jammed into the Parish Hall in Thompson Avenue to hear speakers discuss the Stony Point to Cowes business case. Speakers were Anne Davie - President Phillip Island Conservation Society, Kate McKenzie from Save Our Beach (SOB), Jeff Nottle - Preserve Westernport Action Group, Cr Michael Whelan - Bass Coast Shire and John Pandazopolous - Chair of Destination Phillip Island.
Destination Phillip Island Chair Hon John Pandazopoulos tried to convince the audience that a car ferry was a good idea. Cr Michael Whelan spoke about the engagement process and the need to lodge a submission.
Kate McKenzie of Save our Beaches spoke first about the potential loss of beaches on the north shore of Phillip Island and the impact that would have on residents and visitors.
Phillip Island Conservation Society spoke about alternatives to a car ferry including supporting a southern coastal touring route using existing roads and arterials whilst enhancing some current coastal towns to attract visitors. The route would be from Mornington Pennisula via Stony Point, Hastings, Tooradin, Grantville, Corinella, San Remo and a loop around Phillip Island if desired and continuing to Inverloch and Wilsons Prom. The Conservation Society also supports further improvements to the passenger ferries where local Phillip Island business can engage with visitors and enhance their visit using mini buses or other means.
The omission of environmental impacts and costs from the business case is outrageous. The recommendation that the Planning Approval be handled by a Ministerial Intervention is also a huge problem as the community engagement will be able to be avoided.
Photos; Lisa Shonberg (C)
To send a Submission with regard to the Business Case by April 6th. Online go to: http://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/Business/Cowes_to_Stony_Point_Car_Ferry Or fill in the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZGJX768 or by phoning EarthCheck on (07) 3238 1901 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Or you can post your thoughts to Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118 WONTHAGGI, 3995.