Power to the people

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Power to the people

FED up with a raft of decisions Bass Coast residents have not been happy with more than 100 people have voted unanimously to form the Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association.

An initiative of Inverloch’s Kevin Griffin, the meeting on Saturday went beyond all expectations.

Mr Griffin was overwhelmed by the attendance at the meeting held in Wonthaggi and said the group will aim to raise the standard of accountability, transparency, community consultation and fiscal discipline at Bass Coast Shire Council.

“Any new group must lead by example, I am looking for something that has structure and discipline behind it,” he said.

“We need a community group that will hold council’s feet to the fire at all times.”

On the newly formed committee is Mr Griffin as president, Judy Lawrence as secretary, Gary Simmons as treasurer, and Pago Sampson, Jamie Moresco and John Swarbrick as ordinary committee members. The vice-president’s position is to be confirmed.

Graeme Bell from Ventnor attended the meeting, because he was concerned about rate rises and the inefficiencies in the council.

“For any work to get done on Phillip Island, the crews come across from Wonthaggi and there is very little time actually spent doing anything,” he said.

“If you drive around the Bass Coast shire, the roads on Phillip Island are the worst. The Island is the shire’s biggest money earner, and its roads are terrible.”

Mr Bell said the Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association was an excellent initiative.

“It is exactly what we need. We need a voice,” he said.

After moving to Phillip Island around two years ago, Honey and Peter Spence already feel right at home in their community.

“It is a great community, but we would like to see the local government more transparent and accountable,” Ms Spence said.

Mr Spence said the council needs to engage more effectively with the community.

“An organisation cannot afford to let public opinion of that organisation decline like it seems to have done here. It is most disturbing and we deserve something better,” he said.

John and Bernadette Forster from Inverloch said they hold a lot of concerns about the council, including rate increases and the behaviour of the council itself.

“The lack of community consultation is a concern. Paying outsiders to do consultations is a waste of taxpayer money,” Ms Forster said.

“I don’t believe in wasting money.”

Ms Forster praised Mr Griffin’s initiative in forming the Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association.

“It is a great idea, we need a group to be a spokesperson for the whole community, to approach council so we can get better value for our rates,” she said.

Max Wells from Inverloch will be running for a seat on council in September and said the community shouldn’t be in the place it is at the moment.

“People want to live here, it is a fabulous place so we need good quality people making decisions on behalf of our community,” he said.

“We don’t need to get angry, we need to get proactive and use the resources we have got.”

 

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Posted by on Aug 2 2016. Filed under Featured, News. 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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