No Need For Safer Place In Ventnor
Bass Coast Shire Council has confirmed its decision to decommission the Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) in Ventnor.
Council’s Acting Community and Economic Development Director, Antoinette Mitchell, said the decision by Council at the April Ordinary Meeting was based on an investigation by a Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee (MFMPC) working group.
“We asked this group, made up of representatives from Country Fire Authority, Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks and Council, to look at the situation in Ventnor because of their expertise in fire management and planning,” Ms Mitchell said.
“In particular, we wanted them to look at the bushfire risk in Ventnor to see if a NSP was necessary.
“One of the group’s key tasks was a review of the information for Ventnor outlined in the Bass Coast Municipal Fire Management Plan, which showed the residual bushfire risk for Ventnor to be low.”
The other part of the investigation was a site visit to Ventnor for a visual assessment of the area and the Ventnor Hall NSP site.
“This on-the-ground evaluation showed that if there was a bushfire in Ventnor, there were a number of routes by which residents and visitors could leave the area,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The working group thought most people who choose to leave would keep going into Cowes or other places on and off Phillip Island with more facilities, or to stay with friends and family, rather than stop at the Ventnor NSP which is a small, open plot of land.
“The NSP at the Cowes Recreation Reserve would be a viable option for Ventnor residents, the group suggested.”
Taking these factors into account, the working group recommended that a NSP was not needed in Ventnor. This decision was endorsed by the MFMPC and the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee prior to its delivery to Council.
Ms Mitchell said NSPs were not an alternative to planning to leave early, or to stay and defend your property; they are a place of last resort if all other fire plans have failed.
For more information about NSP and bushfire planning visit the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au.
To contact Council about the Ventnor Neighbourhood Safer Place, please call Acting Emergency Management Coordinator, Rose Thomas, on 1300 BCOAST (226 278).