Bass Coast,

Council Meets With Progress Association

Bass Coast Shire Councillors met with representatives of the Phillip Island Progress Association (PIPA) last week to further their understanding of the concerns raised by PIPA.

This was the first time Councillors and PIPA had met to formally discuss the concerns.

Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said at its meeting in June, Council requested PIPA to outline the concerns being raised that up until then had only been raised in the media.

“Once the concerns had been provided, Council sought a meeting with PIPA to discuss them and that meeting was held last Wednesday,” Cr Rankine said.

The issues raised by PIPA were:

  • Aquatic Centre
  • Tip
  • Rates inequity
  • Isle of Wight site
  • Tourism
  • Infrastructure needs

“The meeting provided a valuable opportunity for two-way discussion and PIPA representatives clarified what needed to be done for Phillip Islanders to be reassured that the concerns were being addressed,” Cr Rankine said.

“Councillors recognised that some of the concerns had existed for a very long time and councillors were unified in the view that action must be seen to be believed."

Cr Rankine said since the election nearly two years ago, this Council had made inroads to addressing all of these concerns; not just for Phillip Island, but for the entire Bass Coast community.

PIPA representatives made it clear that de-amalgamation, to control their own destiny, remains as PIPA’s main goal; however, there is a genuine understanding that the issues raised can be addressed by the current form of local government,” Cr Rankine said.

“Both Councillors and PIPA representatives acknowledged that changes are taking place.

Cr Rankine said there is a very strong focus to increase expenditure on new and improved infrastructure.

“There are financial grants available from State and Federal Governments to build new infrastructure; Bass Coast just needs to have funds available to match the contributions and then to maintain them going forward,” Cr Rankine said.

“This requires us to reduce operating costs to free up the funds required.

“Reviews of all Council services are to be carried out with a view to ensuring services are meeting community expectations and are being delivered in the most cost effective way.”