Mayor's Message

Mayor's Message - 8 June 2018

Some say that rabbit is an acquired taste. However, each year the creativity and ingenuity of the chefs involved in Landcare’s annual ‘Bunny Boiler’ event never ceases to amaze me.

The event which took place at the North Pier Resort recently, brought together cooks from our community and professional chefs through the shared ingredient of ‘rabbit’. The two categories (professional and home cooks) participate in a bit of good hearted competition, and we, the audience, are charged with judging our favourite dish and eating rabbit for dinner. 

It is an excellent way to raise awareness of rabbit control and pest management, as well as raising funds for Landcare - congratulations go to the Phillip Island RSL for taking out the professionally cooked honours again this year!

At this month’s Ordinary Council Meeting Council will consider the draft annual budget. A part of the budget consideration process involves listening to feedback and specific budget submissions from the community.

During this process it became clear to me that there is a misunderstanding by many in our community regarding the calculation of rates in Bass Coast.

Indeed, when one compares the rates each of us pay in Bass Coast with say, the rates one might pay in the City of Stonnington (Hawthorn/Camberwell etc.), there does appear to be a disproportionate rate, given the comparative value of the properties. However one should also take into consideration the population and the area of service. The population of Bass Cost Shire is 33,000 and in Stonnington it is 111,000; the area of Bass Coast Shire is 865km2 and in Stonnington is 25km2 (and there are not too many dirt roads for the Stonnington Council to deal with).

Stonnington receives rate revenue of some $109million and $22 million from fee and fines (such as parking etc); Bass Coast Shire receives rate revenue of $55 million and $1.8 from fees and fines. Remember, Bass Coast Shire must also provide services for its population across an area some 35 times larger than the likes of Stonnington – and the cost of all the services is then divided amongst the ratepayers of which there are 3 times as many in Stonnington, and remember services for a population demographic, which is an average of 10 years older than the state average. Obviously the greater number of rate payers to share the cost burden, the lesser the amount each rate payer pays. This is the issued faced by all sparsely populated regional shires.

So, the facts are that Bass Coast continues to be a low rating, or low revenue, council. You cannot compare our rates with those of a metropolitan council. To do so is to compare apples with bananas. 

And finally I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a wonderful women and centenarian last week, Mrs Pauline Firth.

Pauline lives in Rose Lodge, Wonthaggi and celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends. Regretfully I forgot to ask her the secret of her long life. However, speaking with her about her beautiful family and grandchildren, and seeing all the gifts and cards she received, I am sure that her positive attitude and leading a full and social life would have something to do with it. She is also an avid Hawthorn supporter and so maybe there is something in that too!  

Cr Pamela Rothfield, Mayor

Bass Coast Shire Council

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