Election set, let’s advocate
With the Federal Election set for Saturday, 21 May, Bass Coast Shire Council will continue to promote its advocacy priorities to all candidates.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan, said that Council’s Advocacy Priorities have been developed with the help of community feedback provided for the Council Plan, Community Vision and other important Council strategies.
“These Advocacy Priorities reflect what we have heard throughout community engagement over the past 12 months,” Cr Whelan said
“We know the natural environment is very important to our community, so we are seeking action and investment on Climate Change measures. Safer roads are crucial, as is being connected so we will continue to campaign for increased investment in road infrastructure and digital connectivity right across Bass Coast.”
Bass Coast was Australia’s fourth fastest growing local government area in 2020/21.
To accommodate this growth, Cr Whelan said that it is imperative that the Federal Government fast tracks the Wonthaggi North East Structure Precinct.
“New residential land will provide greater housing and rental affordability. This land will provide for up to 12,000 new residents and will provide access to the only vacant commercially zoned land in Wonthaggi, meaning more local jobs. It will also feature new community infrastructure including schools and sporting facilities,” Cr Whelan said.
“Investment in this precinct will fast track development. This land is needed now.”
This growth also means new community and sporting facilities are needed.
“Both Phillip Island and Wonthaggi communities require new aquatic facilities and Council has undertaken years of work to ensure that both of these facilities are shovel ready and stand the greatest chance of investment through pre-election commitments,” Cr Whelan said.
Tourism is one of Bass Coast’s most important industries, which has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
“We have gone almost two years without international visitation and now, staff shortages and lack of worker accommodation continues to impact our tourism and hospitality industries,” Cr Whelan said.
“We will continue to advocate for investment in tracks and trails and we are supportive of linking tourism trails infrastructure throughout Bass Coast.
“We also strongly support Phillip Island Nature Park’s bid for the Summerlands Peninsula Trail linking the iconic Phillip Island Penguin Parade to the Nobbies.”
In addition, Destination Gippsland has provided a blueprint for the Gippsland Odyssey, a 700km trail that will showcase the best of Gippsland.
“State and Federal funding has been provided for numerous legs of this pathway and we seek investment to link Woolamai to Nyora and assist in creating this super-trail which will support our nature based tourism offering,” Cr Whelan said.
In the lead up to this election, it’s important that the community also let candidates know what they think Bass Coast needs.
“Demonstrating broad-based public support for our advocacy priorities is crucial to success. I encourage community members to take the opportunity to speak with candidates on the priorities that matter to them,” Cr Whelan concluded.
For further detail on Council’s Advocacy Priorities visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/advocacy or contact Senior Advocacy Officer on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211.