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Mayor's Message - 10 May

Mayor's Message - 10 May

Tuesday 10 May 2022
Cr Michael Whelan

Our coastline is disappearing and while Council is doing what it can to protect vulnerable areas, we are urgently seeking $12 million to address this incredibly serious issue. The Federal election campaign is in full swing, yet climate change is being largely ignored. When speaking to the Monash candidates it is important to raise the issue of coastal erosion right here in Bass Coast. We have declared a climate emergency and no matter who forms government after this election, we desperately need more Federal Government focus on climate change in general and in particular coastal erosion.

The State Government released its Budget recently and provided $17 million for the whole of the State that includes a commitment to complete the Cape to Cape Resilience project. However, we are seeking an immediate commitment to urgent coastal work in Inverloch and a commitment now to the cost of longer term works that the Cape to Cape project will identify to protect that coastline.

We need serious commitment from both levels of government, climate change adaptation works are beyond the resources of Local Government ratepayers and so far our work has been to protect beaches that are State Government assets.

Work will soon start on the construction of a 70-metre-long rock bag seawall along the foreshore at Inverloch, to protect the picnic and barbecue area located at the end of Pymble Avenue. This will be the first time that a rock bag seawall has been used in Victoria, and this innovation has been proven to be a robust and effective solution, while offering the flexibility of removal and/or relocation if needed. By constructing a removable structure, as opposed to a fixed seawall, this will allow for the completion of the current Cape to Cape Resilience Project. We will continue our proactive stance on erosion on behalf of our community.

Last Tuesday, 30 young people came together to participate in the Bass Coast Young Leaders Workshop, held at The Nobbies on Phillip Island. The young people from Grade 6 and Year 11 were identified through their schools to participate in the workshop. It was inspiring to see these incredibly articulate and passionate young leaders working together with Council, on creating a future that puts their needs at the forefront. The students worked with the session facilitator and Council Officers to identify different ways that Council can engage more effectively with young people about issues that are important to them. Along with Deputy Mayor Cr Leticia Laing, I spent some time talking to the students over the lunch break and it was clear from these discussions that the future of Bass Coast will be in good hands. The feedback gathered from the workshop will help Council develop a Youth Participation Strategy, which will enable young people to have a regular and meaningful influence over community projects and programs that affect them.