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Looking to unlock rural tourism

Looking to unlock rural tourism

Friday 17 June 2022

Bass Coast Shire Council is seeking feedback on its draft Unlocking Rural Tourism Strategy.

The Bass Coast Unlocking Rural Tourism Strategy, also known as BURT, seeks to enable sustainable tourism development in appropriately located rural areas and assist with the ongoing recovery of our tourism sector from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Strategy examines real and perceived barriers to investment and where appropriate, recommends their removal. It has been developed in response to feedback from various sectors of the community that has noted that the current controls in the planning scheme are insufficient to effectively manage tourism proposals outside of townships.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that the Strategy recommends changes to the planning scheme and other processes to help grow the local tourism industry.

“We want to hear from the community on our draft Strategy to make sure it meets their expectations and needs in order to make rural tourism ventures more accessible and achievable,” Cr Whelan said.

“To provide your feedback, for more information or to view the draft Strategy, visit You can also provide your feedback in the mail to PO Box 118, Wonthaggi, 3995, while hard copies of the draft Strategy can be collected from Council’s Customer Service or Visitor Information Centres in Wonthaggi, Inverloch, Newhaven and Grantville.

“We know that this is a complex and quite technical document, so our Officers have prepared a video summary to assist in preparing your submission on the Strategy, which can also be found on this webpage,” Cr Whelan concluded.

To learn more about the Strategy in person, Council’s Strategic Planning Team are holding drop-in sessions at:

  • Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre (VIC), Newhaven – Tuesday, 28 June from 4.00pm-7.00pm
  • Inverloch Community Hub – Thursday, 7 July from 1.00pm-4.00pm
  • Phillip Island VIC, Newhaven – Monday, 11 July from 1.00pm-4.00pm
  • Kernot Hall – Thursday, 14 July from 2.00pm-5.00pm
  • Corinella Community Hall – Saturday, 16 July from 12.00pm-3.00pm

Community members can also schedule a 15-minute virtual meeting with Council’s Strategic Planners by contacting them on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or email

Council was awarded a grant in 2021 from the Victorian Planning Authority to prepare this Strategy.

The feedback period closes on Wednesday, 27 July 2022.