09 Aug NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2023
Please enjoy and share your August Talking Heads.
NEXT BHA GENERAL MEETING – MONDAY 21st August 7pm
Libby Coker (Federal Member for Corangamite) and Alison Marchant (State member for the Bellarine) have accepted our invitation to join us on the 21st August to be held at the BARWON HEADS ARTS and COMMUNITY HUB in Clifford Parade Barwon Heads. An opportunity to meet your local members, ask questions and meet others. Everyone welcome.
GAZETTAL OF THE BELLARINE PENINSULA STATEMENT OF PLANNING POLICY
Today, 10th August 2023 the Bellarine DAL SPP has been gazetted by the State Government. Congratulations and thank you to our community members who have helped in this very long process. This will be good for every town on the Bellarine and especially Barwon Heads. Here are quotes from the press release from the Government:
The policy locks in protected settlement boundaries for all townships on the Bellarine Peninsula, ensuring the landscapes and natural beauty of the Peninsula are protected for future generations. The Bellarine Peninsula is highly valued as an environmental, historical, and nature-based tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors each year and connected by important transport infrastructure – including the Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry. It is rich with heritage-listed and archaeological sites, including Queenscliff’s maritime and military history, and The Bluff at Barwon Heads. The SPP will help the Bellarine Peninsula achieve a more resilient and sustainable future by encouraging investment in recycled water infrastructure, soil quality management and other emerging technologies. The SPP was prepared together with Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung, the Borough of Queenscliffe, and the City of Greater Geelong with significant public consultation.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny
“We worked closely with the community to ensure we’re protecting the landscapes around the Bellarine Peninsula, and providing certainty for future housing, tourism and infrastructure investment in the region.”
“Through our distinctive area and landscape legislation, we are providing the highest planning protection for Victoria’s most iconic and environmentally sensitive areas.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt
“The Bellarine Peninsula has some of Victoria’s most captivating landscapes and beautiful native wildlife – we’re making sure they are protected and enjoyed by visitors now and into the future.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant
“The Bellarine Peninsula is a sustainable, diverse region, made up of unique townships and this policy will help protect its unique character and natural assets for decades to come.”
ELECTORAL STRUCTURE REVIEWS 2023 GREATER GEELONG CITY COUNCIL
The BHA made a detailed submission to the electoral structure review. Our Committee member Brian Cook put a lot of work into this submission which is on our website. Thank you Brian for presenting to the Panel. We are still concerned by the process which has highlighted how big CoGG has become, and how vulnerable we are to continual changes to ward boundaries. This process was very rushed – a pity there was not more time to engage and discuss options.
Summary of our Submission
The Barwon Heads Association strongly opposes the move to single Councillor wards for the areas of the Greater Geelong City Council on the Bellarine Peninsula. However, we recognise the Review Panel has been asked to provide advice on the electoral structure for the Greater Geelong City Council under single Councillor wards. We also note that the implementation of single Councillor wards for the Greater Geelong City Council is directly opposed to the recommendations of the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC) Greater Geelong City Council Electoral Representation Review in 2015-16.
While we oppose the implementation of recommendations based on single Councillor wards, we wish to highlight the weakness of the proposed ward boundaries and to assist the review in its deliberations to ensure that the best possible model is recommended based on the constraints within which it legally operates we offered the following comments on the VEC Report:
- We support the retention of 11 Councillors for the Greater Geelong City Council.
- We believe that the 3 weeks we have had to consider the proposed models and the availability of detailed voter data has not enabled our Association or other interested groups to prepare well-researched submissions that can deal with the significant deficiencies in each of the three proposed models.
- Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove must be included in the same ward no matter what model is adopted for the future electoral boundaries for Greater Geelong City Council.
- We believe that Model 1 is the best of the three models. We have prepared an additional model for consideration, but all the models have weaknesses when compared to the current electoral structure with three Councillors representing the whole of the Bellarine Peninsula.
- The Moolap area should be included in the ward with the current Brownbill ward not the Bellarine ward.
- The names suggested in the preliminary report are not suitable and some are not in common use for localities on the Bellarine. Many are not representative of the ward areas. Other than the generic guidance, there is no evidence provided in the report as to why particular names were selected, why names should be retained and why names should no longer be used. Names require much more research, justification and consideration than is possible in 3 weeks. We recommend that for wards covering parts of the current Bellarine ward naming conventions be adopted referring to location on the Bellarine – e.g. Bellarine North, Bellarine Central, Bellarine South.
BELLARINE COMMUNITY SAFETY GROUP UPDATE
The Bellarine Community Safety Group met on 7 July. In his report to the Group, Sen. Sergeant Adrian Bickley, Victoria Police Bellarine noted that:
- Most crime numbers have dropped across the Bellarine.
- The main crime occurring at present is property damage, mainly graffiti, with a spike in graffiti occurring in Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Portarlington, and Clifton Springs.
- Vic Pol has made an arrest in relation to some of these offences in Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. Since this arrest they have noticed a significant decrease in graffiti incidents. Footage from the installation of new CCTV in Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove was used for this investigation.
- Within Barwon Heads there are continuing incidents of theft from, and of vehicles and the stealing of number plates. We need to ensure our cars are locked and secured, particularly at night.
Neighborhood Watch Bellarine is endeavoring to arrange a Safe Plate Day with Victoria Police to facilitate the affixing of vehicle number plates with anti-theft screws. Watch for further announcements.
FAREWELL COUNCILLOR ASHER
Stephanie Asher has resigned from the Geelong Council. We thank her for the time she has committed to representing the ratepayers of the Bellarine and her interest in Barwon Heads. We don’t know who the replacement will be, but it will be a countback from the last council elections.
PLEASE RENEW YOUR BHA MEMBERSHIP AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO JOIN – WE NEED YOU
2023-24 Membership Fees:
Local Business $20
Friend (non-voting) $5
To renew your membership click here.
Make the payment using your online banking facility
Account Name: Barwon Heads Association
Account Number: 130256704
Please use your Name as a Reference on this payment, OR
Place the cash/cheque payable to Barwon Heads Association Inc in an envelope with your name on it and drop it into the Barwon Heads Post Office for collection.
If you wish to submit a paper form, please click here to download and print the Membership Form.