Bass Coast,

Council Prepares For Holiday Makers

Large numbers of holiday makers are expected to arrive in Bass Coast in the coming weeks, swelling the population to over 70,000.

Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said year after year, these visitors help boost the local economy and add to our vibrant communities.

“The priority is to ensure everyone, residents and visitors alike are safe over the holiday season,” Cr Brown said.

“Our message to everyone who comes here is ‘Enjoy it, don’t spoil it’ and we are targeting certain behaviour to try and ensure this.”

Cr Brown said Council will have extra staff and more patrols to help protect people and the environment; however, “everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions”.

“You need to respect other people, look out for each other and respect the place you’ve come to enjoy,” Cr Brown said.

Heavy traffic is expected over the holiday season, particularly on the Bass Highway and Phillip Island Tourist Road in the days immediately after Christmas.

Cr Brown said Boxing Day and the days leading up to New Year’s Eve are traditionally amongst the busiest days on our roads.

“Unless you have to, we recommend that people stay off the roads on these days,” Cr Brown said.

“If you have to travel, please plan your trip, allow extra time and make sure you have water in the car in case there are unexpected delays.”

Traffic is also expected to be heavy on New Year’s Day when many visitors leave the Island.

This is expected to begin from early morning when patrons from the Beyond the Valley Festival exit the venue.

Cr Brown said Council is urging everyone to respect each other over the holidays and to drive carefully.

“Certainly the increased population means that it takes longer to get around and our shops and streets are more crowded, so factor in some extra time to your travel plans,” Cr Brown said.

Cr Brown said the Christmas and New Year period is also when Council traditionally gets most calls about lost or escaped pets.

“Remember to keep your pets secure over the holidays,” Cr Brown said.

“This is particularly important on New Year’s Eve, as many pets get very distressed by fireworks.

“We recommend having your pets tied up or inside for the night.”