Bass Coast Shire

The Phillip Island Car Ferry - Ferry Facts & Fantasies #phillipisland #cowes #CarFerry #Environment #Businesscase #BassCoast #FactversusFiction

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.

John Pandazopolous - Chair Destination Phillip Island - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

John Pandazopolous - Chair Destination Phillip Island - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

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.

Kate McKenzie - Save Our Beach (SOB) - photo Lisa Shonberg

Kate McKenzie - Save Our Beach (SOB) - photo Lisa Shonberg

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 consulting@earthcheck.org Or you can post your thoughts to Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118 WONTHAGGI, 3995. 

Bass Coast Shire & Infrastructure Victoria Meet to discuss Proposed Port Impact #phillipisland #basscoast #springst #basscoast #hastings

Cr Michael Wheland of the Phillip Island ward organised a presentation from Jonathan Spear and Andrew Varga from Infrastructure Victoria to selected community groups and tourism bodies. Attendees were stunned that the potential impact on tourism to Phillip Island of 6,000 container ships movements PA anchoring and steaming past Cowes and Phillip Island have been omitted from the IV Discussion Paper. IV indicated that they have no evidence of past complaints when bulk ships have entered Western Port so what's the difference?

Businesses and community have until 3 April to make submissions to: yoursay.infrastructurevictoria.com.au

L to R shows Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Anne Davey, Jonathan Spear, Leigh Phillips, Andrew Varga, Jeff Nottle & Cr Clare LeServe.

L to R shows Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Anne Davey, Jonathan Spear, Leigh Phillips, Andrew Varga, Jeff Nottle & Cr Clare LeServe.

Map showing the proposed dredging area and shipping channel.

Map showing the proposed dredging area and shipping channel.

Infrastructure Victoria - Second Container Port Advice

Infrastructure Victoria - Second Container Port Advice

Port Decision Imminent - Letter to Bass Coast Shire - Infrastructure Victoria Submission #phillipisland #springst #environment #basscoastshire

Dear Cr Pamela Rothfield

Mayor - Bass Coast Shire Council

As you are no doubt aware Infrastructure Victoria are in the process of preparing recommendations to State Government on the timing and location of a second container port for Victoria. Their final report to Government is due in May 2017.

Based on 3 years of research and engagement with our community we lodged a comprehensive submission to Infrastructure Victoria in January 2017. The submission outlined the potential economic and environmental impacts of industrialising Western Port with the construction of a container port. These impacts include risks to tourism, recreational fishing and boating, increased coastal erosion particularly on the north Shore of Phillip Island, salt water entering and poisoning farming aquifers following dredging, carbon sink release and loss of the natural environment for residents and visitors.

Our submission also included and supported the Bass Coast Shire Council Port of Hastings Guiding Principles developed with key stakeholders in April 2016. We have attached a copy of our report to Infrastructure Victoria for your reference.

We are aware that a recognised risk to the Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035 is the industrialisation of Western Port and the construction of a container port.

We are somewhat disappointed that key stakeholder Phillip Island Nature Parks did not lodge a submission to the independent agency Infrastructure Victoria given the risks imposed of having 6,000 container ships passing through our marine life’s feeding and breeding grounds.

We are also aware that Infrastructure Victoria intends to release a report on evidence it has received in the very near future. We understand that this report will then lead to a final phase of engagement and opportunity for further submissions.

We urge Council to be ready to initiate the appropriate processes and, if necessary, the formation of a committee or advisory group to respond to the anticipated Infrastructure Victoria report and subsequent engagement.

Given the imminent Infrastructure Victoria report, engagement and submission timeline to Government we request a meeting with all Councillors to further discuss the responses.We believe our proposed discussions should occur as soon as possible and preferably sometime this month.

Council Passes a motion to protect the Ocean

A huge thank you to Councillors Clare Le Serve and Phil Wright on passing a motion at the recent Bass Coast Shire meeting to ensure that both Victorian and Australian Government Infrastructure organisations are made aware of the significance of Westernport and its importance to the Bass Coast Shire in regard to the Environment, Tourism and Jobs. Here is the excert from the minutes;

'Reinforcing Council’s position in relation to the Port of Hastings development - Cr Clare Le Serve Council Decision Moved: Cr. Clare Le Serve / Seconded: Cr. Phil Wright 

That the Mayor 1. write to the Special Minister of State and the Minister for Ports reinforcing Council’s position in relation to the Port of Hastings. 

2. request that the Ministers instruct the soon to be established Infrastructure Victoria to engage with Bass Coast Shire Council on the future of the Port of Hastings, given the importance of Westernport to the Victorian and Australian economy and environment: • 

Supporting sustainable environmentally sensitive development in Westernport; • Working with key stakeholders including tourism operators and bodies, recreational boating and fishing groups as well as community groups; •

Developing a comprehensive submission to Infrastructure Victoria that provides analysis on the costs to the Bass Coast economy, environment and community; and • 

Developing the submission to Infrastructure Victoria in conjunction with the key Bass Coast stakeholder groups.'