Erosion worries as rates rise

WELL SPOKE-N: Cr Micheal Whelan was against spending $1.5 million from council’s budget on an Inverloch bike path.

BEACH erosion loomed as a potential stumbling block to the approval of Bass Coast Shire Council’s 2019-20 Budget.

Residents will see rates rise by 2.5 percent, with council projecting an operating surplus of $2.6 million for 2019-20.

Yet Cr Michael Whelan questioned spending $1.5 million on a bike path on Inverloch’s shifting sands without further investigation of the asset’s long term viability.

He proposed the extension of the pathway along Surf Parade, Inverloch “be subject to a local coastal hazard assessment”.

Cr Les Larke said the amendment was a “substantive change” to the budget and should be “struck out”.

The amendment was eventually voted down.

While Cr Whelan believed council had planned “essentially a good budget”, he said coastal erosion had been overlooked,

But as he had been advised that pursuing changes to the budget would see it “fall outside of the legislative timeframe” for its delivery, he chose not to ask for more funding.

He made the point that relying on emergency funding to address coastal erosion issues was “totally inadequate”.

“We need to be able to move in a proactive way. It’s not good enough for council to say this is a State Government responsibility, or someone else’s responsibility,” he said.

Cr Whelan said the path “would be very damaging to the environment”. 

Council received 35 public submissions while the budget was on display, with 15 delivered in person. Environmental issues were at the forefront of many concerns.

Local funding pledges include:

  • $900,000 for the Inverloch netball courts and $700,000 for the Dalyston netball courts.
  • $2.9 million for tennis court renewal at Wonthaggi, Inverloch and Corinella.

Speaking after the meeting, Bass Coast mayor Cr Brett Tessari said the budget was testament to council’s strong financial position.

“Council can now get to work with delivering the $21.1 million capital works program outlined in the budget, as well as other infrastructure projects across the shire,” Cr Tessari said.


Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=29202

Posted by on Jun 25 2019. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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