Smiths Beach Plan gets green light
At its meeting this week, Bass Coast Shire Council adopted the final Smiths Beach Town Plan, to allow implementation of its actions.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that the Smiths Beach Town Plan is a “once in a generation plan” that sets out the vision, objectives and priority projects for Smiths Beach across seven key domains.
“The plan seeks to enhance and improve the safety, amenity and enjoyment of the lifestyle and setting of Smiths Beach and set a pathway to resolve challenges within the Smiths Beach township, reflecting town’s unique context and relationship to the surrounding area,” Cr Whelan said.
In early 2021, Council undertook a process to collaborate with two groups, to transform the opportunities and constraints identified for Smiths Beach into a draft Plan.
The first group was a Reference Group made up of key stakeholders such as the Smiths Beachcomber Association, Phillip Island Nature Parks, St Bede’s College and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The second group was a community panel made up of 10 people who live (permanently and seasonally) or work in Smiths Beach.
The draft Plan was released in July 2021 for community consultation which continued for just over 12 weeks. Over the exhibition period, Council received 107 Survey responses, 59 written submissions in the form of letter or emails and one verbal submission. These submissions were used to inform revisions and updates to create the final Smiths Beach Town Plan.
The final Plan includes around 70 individual actions across the seven key themes, relating to a wide range of aspects of life in Smiths Beach. The plan also includes four ‘Game Changer’ projects that will have the highest social, economic and environmental effect on the community. Those projects are:
- Game Changer Project 1: Create a Trail to Link the Beaches
- Game Changer Project 2: Complete the YCW Activity Area Master Plan
- Game Changer Project 3: Reimagine Smiths Beach Car Park
- Game Changer Project 4: Enhance the Town Centre
The final Plan can be viewed at www.engage.basscoast.vic.gov.au/smiths and implementation will be ongoing.