As we are all fully aware the actions of PWP over time has resulted in the recommendations of Infrastructure Victoria. Some recap of steps leading to the message below from Peter Francis of Bass Coast Shire Council.
– PWP were instrumental in ensuring the (previous) Council held a Round Table on the Port issue with key stakeholders in April 2016;
- PWP provided input into the list of invitees to ensure appropriate and wide inclusion at the Round Table;
- PWP provided background papers and input at the Round Table that led to the group producing “Agreed Principles”;
- PWP, Council and others including Western Port Protection Council formally supported these principles in submissions to IV;
- The current Council with leadership of Cr Michael Whelan ensured the Agreed Principles were formally adopted by Council in early 2017;
- IV held community consultations at Hastings that PWP attended. No Bass Coast Councillors attended as it was a Council day;
- Cr Michael Whelan then invited IV to attend an invitation only session in Wonthaggi;
- All original Round Table invitees were then invited to discussions with IV on 22 March;
- PWP spoke at the session on environmental and tourism impacts;
- Tourism representatives also spoke on potential impacts;
- PWP lodged a Response Paper to IV on 2 April that included all key issues
raised at the BCSC IV meeting and the Response Paper was supported by all key Phillip Island stakeholder groups;
- IV release their recommendations on 23 May that Hasting was rejected and Bay West supported;
- IV contacted Council on 24 May with the message as outlined below.
This is an excellent example to show that the PWP input was clearly instrumental in influencing the final recommendations to Government.
Peter continues: “I had a call from Andrew Varga this afternoon. He is one of the Infrastructure Victoria representatives that attended our community roundtable on 22 March which some of you attended.
Andrew advised that the feedback provided by community members at that forum helped them to form the view that Bay West was the more appropriate location for a second port – specifically the potential environmental impact issues that were raised. He said that prior to the forum they had not really understood the impact that the ‘perception’ of having a major container port close to a significant tourism destination might have, quite apart from the actual environmental risks.
It was great that he called to give us that feedback and he said they really valued the information provided at the forum.”