Local council elections will be conducted in October. The election for Surf Coast Shire will be a postal election and Ballot packs will be mailed to enrolled voters (on State electoral Role) from the 4th October.
Each voter is sent a ballot pack that contains voting instructions, candidate statements and indications of preferences, ballot paper(s), and envelopes for returning the completed ballot paper(s). The completed ballot material must be in the mail or hand delivered to the ReturningOfficer by 6.00pm on Friday the 21st October.
Voting is compulsory for people who are on the State electoral roll within the council area. Voters aged 70 years or over at the time of the election to be automatically excused if they do not vote. The penalty for failing to vote is currently set at $78.00 for the 2016 for the local government elections 2016.
WANT TO BE A CANDIDATE?
A Candidate information session will be held at Surf Coast Shire offices at 6.300pm on the 12th of September
To nominate as a candidate you must complete a nomination form and lodge it, together with the $250 nomination fee, in person with the Returning Officer during business house from Thursday 15th September until 12 noon on Tuesday 20th September at shop 1, 103 Great Ocean Rd, Anglesea.
Recently the 3228 Residents Association was asked to become involved to represent a group that like to canoe the Thompson Creek. A landowner had erected a fence across the creek near the Blackgate Rd bridge, effectively preventing access to the waterway north of Blackgate Rd.
3228RA contacted council and the office of Andrew Katos asking if the fence was permitted and if not, what could be done.
Andrew Katos’ office followed up the enquiry with the Corangamite Management Authority and they have responded that the fence is not permitted and will have it removed.
The 3228RA was happy to assist in this matter and would like to thank the office of Andrew Katos for their efforts.
Development in Spring Creek valley is an issue that has been strongly contested by the community since 2008 and this week representatives from nine local community groups met with councilors to present their vision for the new precinct. The plan can be viewed at www.3228ra.org
The groups believe their plan provides an acceptable balance between those wanting development and those wanting no development and has based the plan on the same 5 core values: Places for People, the Natural Environment, the Built Environment, Services and Infrastructure and A Local Economy, as the Draft plan produced by council.
The plan will assist the Surf Coast Shire to lead in environmental stewardship and sustainability by considerably reducing impacts on wildlife and at the same time enhancing liveability. With climate change and mass species extinction in mind this is a plan for people and nature. Important features include the reinforcing of a permanent town boundary to the west with development that is consistent with the low density residential developments to the north and south east; substantial wildlife corridors that retain remnant vegetation; maintaining traffic flow along the Great Ocean Road by eliminating an exit/entry; creation of a community food, cultural and health precinct; safe movement from the proposed Christian College campus through the precinct via an extensive, off road, shared pathway network.
As a community we have a responsibility to ensure that our actions have as little impact on the environment as possible so that future generations can continue to enjoy what many now take for granted.
Contributing community groups: 3228 Residents Association, SCEG, SANE, Plastic Bag Torquay, Danawa Community Garden, Surfrider Foundation, Jan Juc Coast Action Group, Torquay Coast Action, Surf Coast Wildlife Shelters Group
Committee members recently met with the CEO and several council officers to discuss a range of issues that affect our community. Questions raised by community members and responses are shown below:
RACV land swap – The plan of subdivision is currently being advertised and will proceed through the normal planning application process which when complete will allow the land swap to occur; once the fence is realigned SCS will address the current weed infestation and make improvements to the whole area; the RACV is covering the entire costs associated with the land swap process; SCS will confirm the “up to $10,000” amount that RACV is to give to the SCS with us and the use of the funds.
Rate capping – the shire is not intending to apply for an exemption for the next budget. The shire is currently undertaking a review of services and the way they are provided with the hope of identifying areas where saving/productivity can be made including opportunities arising from the improved use of technology.
RESPONSE: Rates per Assessment are generally higher in Surf Coast compared to other municipalities. For 2014/15 the average rates per assessment for Surf Coast were $2,085, compared with $1,784 for the state average for large rural shires. Rates revenue accounts for over 70% of Council’s revenue base, and this compares to 55% for the state average for large rural shires. Whereas other municipalities are able to charge lower rates due to other sources of income, Council is limited in opportunities to collect additional revenue due to two main factors:
It does not manage the foreshore in most areas, meaning that revenue for these areas is collected by a different entity (Ie Caravan park revenue), and
It does not have major income-generating facilities (i.e. airports, function centres etc.)
2.1 How does the shire compare to other shires of similar size for the average rate per property – currently much higher, a true comparison requires a comparison of service provision.
RESPONSE: I agree a true comparison requires a comparison of service provision, but it also requires comparison of demographics, population density, age of assets, resource availability, and a whole range of other considerations. The Annual Victorian Grants Commission return may help because it considers a lot of these factors.
Dog brochure – the update of the dog brochure was delayed due to discussions with GORCC relating to the areas that they have under their control; NO DOGS sign/s will be placed on the Bob Pettit playground asap. Will they be placed on any other playgrounds? When do you expect the brochure to be updated?
RESPONSE: Brochures are in the process of being updated and will be completed within 2 months.
Improved surveillance of beaches and other public areas is required along with the issuing of infringement notices to reinforce the requirement for dog owners to adhere to the current regulations.
RESPONSE: New signs to be installed. Signs will be larger, to make them clearly visible and easy to read. The date of installation has not been determined as the signs have to be made and then installed etc. An audit of all the play grounds has been finished and consistent signs on all parks will now be rolled out.
Spring Creek – the final Spring Creek PSP will be presented to council at the April meeting. We expressed our concern with the community engagement process – we believe the community panel were not provided with reports etc. in a timely manner, that panel members questions were left unanswered because of the time constraints, the process was rushed, the timing of the exhibiting of the draft plan was extremely poor (over the lead up to Christmas and the school holidays). We acknowledge the difficulty in balancing developer and community expectations.
RESPONSE: View is noted. Surf Coast Shire outlined the objective of the panel structure and believe the overall outcome was positive.
Industrial estate – council will investigate the current requirements for vegetation and its maintenance is adequate/ being adhered to and whether smaller trees/shrubs are needed to provide the desired screening once the larger trees increase in height.
RESPONSE: Smaller trees/shrubs are not part of the planting schedule. There needs to be some level of visual permeability to ensure safety of pedestrians on a key north south pathway. If the planting is too dense there will be no surveillance provided. This link provides further information: http://www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/home/resources/safer+design+guidelines+for+victoria. There will be landscaping on the development sites beyond the path which will provide for a second row of screening.
Sea View – council confirmed that the recent purchasers intend to restore the property; council did not properly follow up on the conditions of the subdivision.
RESPONSE: The new owners are meeting with Heritage Advisor to discuss renovation of the property. The permit for the subdivision was amended following an application by the developer. The subdivision complied with the amended permit conditions.
Wheelchair parking – council will adjust the kerbing in Bell St(in front of Telstra shop) to allow better access to/from the disabled parking bay. As the bay in front of the Quicksilver café is not council owned the process to rectify this will take longer but it will be followed up with the owners as it is requirement.
Beach Road intersection – TAC is currently assessing the intersection and it is expected that it will be signalized in the next 12 months? South Beach Road will have a roundabout installed. Could we please have a more detailed written response in relation to timing etc of these 2 projects?
RESPONSE: VicRoads and TAC are currently assessing funding application for South Beach Road roundabout. This will allow Council DCP funds to be redeployed to the Beach Road intersection with a signalized solution. Council expects a decision on the funding application in the next 3 months. No action will occur until the funding outcome is known however, it is anticipated that an answer will be received from TAC by 30 June 2016 which would then allow the Beach Road signals to be commenced in 2017/18.
New foot bridge – bikes will be permitted, it will be a shared path. Is there a plan of the bridge and how it is expected to work that residents can view?
RESPONSE: A plan of the new footbridge and bike lanes is attached.
Community infrastructure planning – a list of planned community infrastructure forms part of the DCP document which is accessible on the SCS website. See appendix 3.
Weed Strategy – Could you please email me some detail regarding this?
RESPONSE: Council is currently developing its new Pest Plant & Animal Strategy which will outline priorities for managing weeds and pest species on Council owned and managed land, including municipal roadsides. The draft Strategy will be released for community consultation during 2016-17. Due to popular demand Council has recently re-printed its Weeds of the Surf Coast Shire and the Top 20 weed brochures – which are also available on-line.
Submissions on the Draft Spring Creek Precinct Structure Plan are due at the Surf Coast Shire by the close of business on Tuesday the 12th of January.
All the documents related to the Draft structure Plan can be viewed at: http://www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/My_Property/Building_Planning/Planning/Strategic_Projects_Studies/Spring_Creek_Structure_Plan
Not many people had the time to attend the information sessions prior to Christmas so we are holding a drop in session on Friday 8th from 6.00 to 8.00pm at the Elderly Citizens rooms 16 Price St, Torquay, to provide what information we can to assist those wishing to make a submission.
The most convenient way to make a submission is by email to firstname.lastname@example.org - be sure to include your name, email address, postcode and the heading Spring Creek Structure Plan Submission.
Alternatively you can use the form to make a submission which is available on the Surf Coast Shire website: http://www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/My_Property/Building_Planning/Planning/Strategic_Projects_Studies/Spring_Creek_Structure_Plan/Spring_Creek_Structure_Plan_Submission_Form
The proposal for an Aquatic and Leisure Centre to be built in Torquay by the Surf Coast Shire has ended with councilors voting unanimously to shelve the idea. The controversial and divisive proposal included a funding model that included a Special Charge Scheme that would require all residents of Surf Coast Shire to pay an amount yearly for possibly 20 years plus a one off rate increase.
Not surprisingly the majority of residents rejected the funding proposal.
MOVED Cr Brian McKiterick, Seconded Cr Eve Fisher
1. Note and acknowledge the extensive feedback provided by members of the community on Council’s proposed model for an aquatic and health facility.
2. Note that whilst the development and operation of an aquatic and health centre would offer benefits to some in the community, the majority of people’s views indicates that a facility is not desired at this time and that Council should focus on other priorities.
3. Having considered all views in the community do not undertake any further planning for an aquatic and health centre at this time.
4. Note that no allowance is made for an aquatic and health centre in Council’s long-term financial plan.
5. Mindful of the potential to consider a facility in the longer-term, retain sufficient land for an aquatic and health centre within the Community and Civic Precinct in North Torquay.
6. Remain open to proposals from private parties to develop and operate an aquatic and health centre on Council-owned land.
7. Note the feedback received through the consultation process that Council should work closely with the City of Greater Geelong in considering the development of future aquatic infrastructure that will potentially serve communities in both municipalities.
8. Allocate $5,000 from the Accumulated Unallocated Cash Reserve to participate in the City of Greater Geelong’s refresh of its Aquatic Strategy to develop a shared-view of the longer-term aquatic and health needs of communities in the growth areas of Torquay, Winchelsea and Armstrong Creek.
The agenda for the next council meeting of the Surf Coast Shire indicates that the Draft PSP for Spring Creek as Item 3.4. Unfortunately for those Torquay/Jan Juc residents who are interested in the discussion around this document and who have questions to ask will have to travel to Winchelsea.
It is disappointing that council has chosen to present this document, which is an indicator of the future development of the Spring Creek valley, at a council meeting that is out of town.
For those interested you can view the officer's recommendation at http://www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/My_Council/Agendas_Minutes/Council_Agendas_Minutes/24_November_2015?agenda starting on Page 45. The draft plan and background information are contained inappendix 1 and 3 for Item 34 on the right hand side of the page.