Advocacy Strategy and new priority list for Bass Coast
Bass Coast Shire Council’s first ever Advocacy Strategy was adopted at the recent June Ordinary Council Meeting. This strategic document provides a clear framework on how Council will advocate on the priorities and concerns of our community.
The Advocacy Strategy 2018-21 is closely linked to Council’s Advocacy priority list: Representing our Community, Shaping our Future. This list, which was originally adopted in October 2017, was also revised at the recent meeting.
Priorities on the previous list which have been achieved and received collectively over $155million in funding (such as securing funding for the Wonthaggi Secondary College senior campus development, Wonthaggi Hospital, Wonthaggi Highball Stadium and Phillip Island/Back Beach Road intersection) have created the opportunity for Council to reconsider the list and adopt some new advocacy priorities.
The recently adopted priority list includes a mix of existing and new priorities:
Retained from previous list
· South West Gippsland Transport Strategy
· Transfer management of the current Wonthaggi Secondary College McBride Campus site to Council and development of a masterplan for future use of the site
· Cowes Jetty replacement and request to state government for funding support to investigate this location as a potential car ferry terminal site
· Wonthaggi North East Precinct key infrastructure
· Cowes 24 hour Pharmacy and Nursing Facility
· Bass Coast foreshore management and erosion control – funding for erosion control infrastructure and consistent approach to the management of foreshore reserves across the Shire
· Decentralise a state government department/service to Wonthaggi to support Wonthaggi’s status as a regional centre
· Tourism infrastructure - pathways funding for trails and paths infrastructure identified as tourism assets and aligned with Council’s Aspirational Pathways Plan
· Tertiary education investment – attraction and funding of tertiary education providers and facilities in Bass Coast
· Planning - policy changes to improve protection to natural amenity in coastal township areas and protect native vegetation and the environment
The priorities identified on this list are outlined in the Advocacy Strategy as level one priorities. The Strategy, which outlines a three-tiered approach, explains that these top tier, level one, priorities are the top 5-10 priorities for the community and will undergo a pro-active and planned approach.
Level two priorities are underpinned by an adopted position of Council and clearly linked to the objectives of the Council Plan 2017-21. They will receive an opportunistic approach, for example, funding or policy change will be sought when an opportunity to do so arises.
Level three priorities are generally priorities led by the community, businesses and/or associations, and supported by Council. They are also clearly linked to the Council Plan 2017-21 and will often be town or community specific. They will receive a responsive approach to advocacy, where Council will advocate when requested.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, explained that the three-tiered approach aims to ensure Council is as effective as possible with its resources such as time, funds and skills.
“While there are endless priorities important to our community, it’s important that we create structure to help us decide the top ten priorities on which we will focus our energy and time,” Cr Rothfield said.
“Doing this puts us in the best position to achieve great outcomes for our community.”
“However, we must not forget that the priorities of our community change, and opportunities also change depending on the political climate. This Advocacy Strategy has the flexibility needed to adapt to changing environments, and the structure needed to ensure we are being smart with our use of resources.”
The Advocacy Strategy and new priority list are available to view in full on Council’s Website at basscoast.vic.gov.au/advocacy