Calling for committee members

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Bass Coast Shire Council is establishing its inaugural Australian First Peoples Advisory Committee (AFPAC).

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said expressions of interest (EOI) to join the Committee as Community Representatives are now open.

“If you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and are keen to contribute to reconciliation at the local level, whether you are already actively involved in this space, or looking to be involved in positive community change, we would love to hear from you,” Cr Tessari said.

Community Representatives will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to reconciliation and/or a desire to make positive community change. Applicants need to demonstrate a strong connection to the Bass Coast region and be over 18 years of age.

There is up to six Community Representative positions available on the AFPAC.

Visit to complete an EOI application form.

Representatives from Council and partner agencies will also be on the Committee, ensuring a direct link between the Community and the local services it accesses across Bass Coast.

“Council is strongly committed to the ongoing process of reconciliation and building on established relationships with our local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Community,” Cr Tessari said.

“This Committee will provide an important and respectful platform for ongoing engagement between the Community and Council, across a broad range of issues.

“It will support reconciliation and advocate for greater access to culturally appropriate services by raising awareness of Community issues, history and culture,” Cr Tessari concluded.

Once established, the AFPAC will meet four times a year. For more information, please visit our website

For more information, contact Council’s Aboriginal Development Officer Patrice Mahoney OAM on or 0438 688 859.

Expressions of Interest close on 11 July 2021.

Major $4.9M redevelopment kicks off at Kennington Recreation Reserve

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

The City of Greater Bendigo in partnership with the Victorian Government has commenced work on the construction of a $4.9M redevelopment of the Harry Trott Kennington Recreation Reserve in Neale Street, Kennington.

The project includes demolition of the existing pavilion and construction of a new pavilion that meets todays building and accessibility standards, complete with female friendly change rooms, social facilities for shared use by a range of user groups, improved landscapes, additional car parking and spectator viewing areas.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said this is an exciting project that will cater for over 800 players and provide improved facilities for the wider community.

“The reserve is home to the Bendigo United Cricket Club and will  support the full relocation of South Bendigo Football Netball Club from the QEO to Kennington as their new home increasing opportunities for Kennington to reconnect to football and netball,” Cr Alden said.

“The project is a key action of the City’s Kennington Recreation Reserve Masterplan and it will enable football, netball and cricket clubs to expand their programs and increase participation opportunities.

“The new female friendly designed facilities will enable the football and cricket clubs to expand their programs to target female participation in traditionally male dominated sports.

“It will also increase the viability of the existing facility and open the door to increase user groups at the reserve.”

The new pavilion will include:

  • Four change rooms and associated player amenities (two compliant with AFL and Cricket Australia standards, two compliant with Netball Victoria standards)
  • First aid/massage room/all abilities change room, umpire room with dedicated facilities for male and female use.
  • Public amenities with internal and external access
  • Social/Community function and meeting space, Kiosk and kitchen along with meeting room/administration office, storage for tenant groups and back of house facilities
  • Spectator area for viewing the oval and netball courts
  • External storage to support netball and oval sports activities

Other works include:

  • Construction of car park at Glencoe Street
  • Construction of an accessible pathway from the car park to the pavilion
  • Construction of a shared use zone for vehicle access to the eastern side of the pavilion for deliveries and emergency vehicles.

The project will build on previous improvements already undertaken by the City at the reserve including the redevelopment of the tennis courts to accommodate netball and tennis, installation of court and oval lighting, tree protection, landscaping, installation of a new oval scoreboard and the development of a master plan for the site.

This is a $4.9M project funded by a $2.9 million contribution from the City of Greater Bendigo and $2 million from the Victorian Government Department of Sport and Recreation Victoria.

The City has awarded a tender to Franklin and Walsh Builders to undertake the works which are expected to be completed in mid-2022.

Further information about the project is available at

Aquatics sessions finalised

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

After a challenging few weeks, Bass Coast Shire Council has determined the final dates for the community drop-in sessions on the Bass Coast and Phillip Island aquatic and leisure centre feasibility studies and concept plans.

There are four drop-in sessions planned – two at the Phillip Island Leisure Centre and two at the Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Wonthaggi – Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre, 41 Wentworth Road

  • Saturday, 19 June: 9.00am to 1.00pm
  • Wednesday, 30 June: 9.00am to 1.00pm

Cowes – Phillip Island Leisure Centre, 10-12 Church Street

  • Wednesday, 23 June 9.00am to 1.00pm
  • Saturday, 26 June 9.00am to 1.00pm

You can also have your say by filling out a survey at or provide a written submission to

Due to the ongoing postponements and alterations to the sessions, we have extended the consultation period from Sunday, 27 June to Sunday, 4 July.

Budget gets tick of approval

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Bass Coast Shire Council adopted the 2021/22 Annual Budget at its June Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday.

Highlights of the Budget include funding for the planning and/or design of a number of significant, intergenerational projects including:

  • Commencement of the construction of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre
  • Works to renew and upgrade a number of marine assets. This includes the Grantville boat ramp, jetty and seawall and the Rhyll boat ramp and jetty
  • Cowes East Foreshore rock revetment wall and beach access
  • A number of recreational projects that will deliver significant lighting improvements in Inverloch, Dalyston and Cowes as well as works on improving Thompson Reserve in Inverloch

The budget also provides for:

  • Funding for the major Guy Road to Tenby Point shared path
  • $3 million funding for urban and rural pavement renewal across the shire
  • Wonthaggi Activity Centre Plan priorities
  • Inverloch community hub renewal

The Proposed Budget was made available for public comment following the April Council Meeting and 18 submissions were received. Of those, eight were heard in person.

In response to the submissions received from the community, there were a number of changes recommended to the final 2021/22 Budget. These included the allocation of funding towards footpaths and seating in Corinella, solar panels for the Phillip Island Football and Netball Club, an upgrade of the San Remo Bowls Club and seating for the State Coal Mine.

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said the Budget supports the delivery of over 100 services to the community.

“Council can now get to work with delivering our record $35.1 million Capital Works program outlined in the Budget, as well as other operational projects across the Shire,” Cr Tessari said.

“There is money being spent Shire wide, which is a great outcome for the community.”

Cr Tessari said it was great to see a high level of community engagement with the Budget process.

“It is important to get the community involved with the Budget process – as the final result effects everyone – ratepayers, visitors and businesses,” Cr Tessari said.

“It was really pleasing to see that from the 18 budget submissions we received, we were able to assist some of those with funding in the 2021/22 Budget.”

Council’s adopted Annual 2021/22 Budget can be found at

Mayor’s Message – 15 June

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

What an interesting (to say the least) end we had to last week, with wild weather, power outages and loss of phone services all tumbled in with the ongoing pandemic – it certainly made for a challenging few days. It is a great reminder to us all to be kind, and to check in on one another – your friends, family and neighbours. The best part about living in Bass Coast is our incredible sense of community – we come together in times of adversity and support one another through the hard times. This is just another one of those times.

Last week, we held our second of five workshops with our Community Panel, which is made up of around 40 members of our community, working to create a 20-year Community Vision for Bass Coast. Discussions ranged from homelessness to agriculture and farming. With passionate community members like these, the future of Bass Coast is looking bright!

The genuine enthusiasm the Community Panel has shown for the future of Bass Coast is reassuring/encouraging. It reminds me that we also should also reflect on our past to get a clear picture of where we want to go in the future. As a Wonthaggi boy, it’s great to see the local history captured, thanks to the Wonthaggi Historical Society researchers, as they settle into their new building extension in Apex Park, fondly referred to as the West Wing. This building work now serves future generations of the town as it expands to become the regional centre, revealing the hidden potential of the town. It’s something our ‘Wonthaggi – Discover our Secret’ campaign is helping to build on. There’s also a wealth of our history online through the National Library of Australia’s website at Everything from news articles to books, including one by American author Thomas Upton, who got in touch recently about his book on travelling Australia in 1970 in an old Holden he dubbed the ‘Wonthaggi Notpu’ (‘Upton’ backwards!). It’s just one of so many moments in time now safety captured. I encourage all our community members to explore these online resources and our local historical societies, run by amazing volunteers.

Community asked to have their say on bold new vision for Ararat 11/06/2021 – 2:53pm

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Posted Friday 11 June, 02:53pm

Ararat Rural City Council is kicking off a series of face-to-face consultations next week as it seeks community feedback on its bold new plans for Ararat. 


A 1.5% rate cut, record investment in road upgrades and reductions in fees for community use of Council facilities were some of the highlights of new plans to strengthen support for residents and businesses. 


CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the Draft Budget, Community Vision, Council Plan, and the Revenue and Rating Plan were forging a new pathway that would keep Council accountable to the community it represents. 


“The community will notice that we’ve taken an entirely new approach to the way we communicate with our ratepayers,” Dr Harrison said. 


“We’ve tried really hard to develop key targets for financial performance and delivery that hold us accountable to our ratepayers. 


“The Community Vision is condensed to one page and is focused on growing our population and creating a strong and robust economy. The three-page Council Plan shows how we will get there and clear measurements for success. 


“The Budget and Revenue and Rating Plan have also been completely re-shaped, mapping out in direct language the organisational responsibilities of Council and how your rates are being spent. There are new targets for organisational efficiency, cutting waste and returning those dividends to our ratepayers. 


“Our 1.5% cut to council rates makes Ararat Rural City the only local government in Victoria that has delivered a net zero per cent increase in rates over the past four years. 


“Under our Rating and Revenue Plan, we’re continuing to ensure the fair sharing of the rates burden across our ratepayers.  


“We’ve achieved this while delivering new record levels of investment toward roads and community infrastructure and at the same time maintaining an operating surplus. 


“This has been hard work, but it’s also just doing our job.  


“We’re excited about these plans and the organisational transformation we’ve achieved so far. 


“Now we need your feedback and ideas about how we can continue driving improvement to give the Ararat community the council services it deserves.” 


Copies of the Draft 2021/2022 Council Budget, Rating and Revenue Plan, Community Vision 2031 and Council Plan 2021-2025 are available via  


Submissions can be made via the website, or by writing to Ararat Rural City Council – PO Box 246, Ararat, VIC, 3377, or emailing 

Community information sessions are taking place at the following community venues: 

  • Tuesday 15 June: Elmhurst- 11:00am Elmhurst Hall 
  • Tuesday 15 June: Ararat- 7:00pm Alexandra Oval Community Centre 
  • Wednesday 16 June: Ararat- 11:00am Ararat Town Hall Foyer 
  • Thursday 17 June: Lake Bolac- 6:30pm Lake Bolac Complex 

Submissions are open until Friday 25 June at 5:00pm with the plans to be presented to the Council Meeting on Tuesday 29 June 2021. 


If attending one of the information sessions, please make sure you comply with COVIDSafe requirements by registering to attend via the Engage Ararat platform and then checking in once you arrive and wearing a mask. Link here:

Eased restrictions take effect from 11 June 11/06/2021 – 8:45am

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Posted Friday 11 June, 08:45am

Ararat Rural City welcomes the eased COVID-19 restrictions that come into effect for regional Victoria from Friday 11 June.

Visitors are reminded that it is a Government requirement for regional Victorian businesses to check their customers’ ID, to verify that they’re not from the Greater Melbourne area. We encourage community members to be understanding of the need for this process and to check in to facilities via the QR code service provided. If you are unable to scan the QR Code, our friendly staff are happy to assist.

Under these changes, the following Council services will be re-opening from Friday 11 June, subject to density requirements and visitor caps, including:


The Visitor Information Centre will be open as per normal opening times. Density restrictions apply.


The Ararat Fitness Centre will be open with the following alterations to services (due to density restrictions on indoor recreation facilities):

This means access to the Fitness Centre (Gym and Pool) will be available to be booked for 1-hour slots. Bookings can be made by phone (5355 0201) from 6am Friday 11 June.

Centre passes will be $5 casual entry. Memberships will be suspended until further notice, if you have any queries please call the centre on 5355 0201.

All sessions must be pre-booked and we kindly ask that you check-in via the QR code service upon arrival. Walk-ins will not be admitted at this time. 

The Gym will be open to the public from 11 June.

– Fri  11 June 6am – 4pm

– Sat 12 June 8am – 1.00pm

– Sun 13 June 1pm- 5pm

– Mon 14 June 1pm – 5pm

Due to commitments to community sports organisations and to meet density restrictions, the Fitness Centre will be closed to the public after 4 pm on weeknights, other than participants in scheduled community sports activities.


Pools will open from Monday 14 June and will be available for booking of 1-hour sessions between 1pm and 5pm on Monday 14 June.

Swim school enrolments for Term 2 will be suspended and rolled into Term 3 enrolments as a credit (further adjustments can be made where required).


The Gallery will be open as per normal operating hours, with a density limit of 75 people at any one time (in line with current COVID-19 restrictions).

All other services as previously stated will be open as per normal opening times. The Town Hall and Gum San Heritage Centre will remain closed until further notice.

Please continue to follow State Government requirements and wear a mask when indoors (other than your private home) and outdoors if you cannot maintain 1.5m physical distancing, and remember to check-in via the QR codes available at all Council facilities. If you do not have a device that is capable, our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist.

Dudley drain works continue

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Bass Coast Shire Council will complete renewal works along a section of open drain, which runs along the north side of Alexander Road in South Dudley this August.

Stage two of this project will start this week and is expected to take around 10 weeks to complete. These $420,000 works are fully funded by Council as part of its Capital Works Program.

This project is an important part of Council’s Stormwater Drainage Renewal Program and will provide improved water flows within the new channel, and also provide drainage and erosion protection for the area.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari said that stage one of these works, which began in early February, was impacted by some delays.

“There is a shortage in supply of large box culverts, while bad weather and COVID-19 restrictions have also caused delays,” Cr Tessari said.

“We understand the inconvenience this may have caused and we thank you for your continued patience. We look forward to completion of this project for the South Dudley community.”

Stage one works are continuing, with most of the new culverts now installed. The contractor will continue to finish these works, while preparing for stage two.

Stage two will include the installation of a further 320 metres of box culverts, to form an open concrete channel, as well as the widening of the existing open drain at the eastern end of Alexander Road, adjacent to the existing drainage crossing at South Dudley Road, including placement of large rock spalls within the drain.

A new fence will be installed between the road and the open drain renewed in both stages of this project, to prevent pedestrian and vehicle access to the drain.

Council understands that these works may present an inconvenience to nearby properties and appreciates patience during these times. While the works are underway, appropriate traffic and pedestrian measures will be in place. The contractor will make every effort to minimise disruptions during construction.

For more information contact Council’s Infrastructure Delivery Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211, email or visit

Wonthaggi Laneway Revival

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Four local artists are descending on Durham Lane in Wonthaggi to enliven the Graham Street end with new murals, as part of Bass Coast Shire Council’s Wonthaggi, Discover Our Secret initiative.

Council has allocated $150,000 in its 2020/21 budget to a Street Art Program, which will see art installations popping up across the Shire.

Projects already completed as part of the Program can be seen on Connells Bakery in Wonthaggi, Olive Justice Place in Cowes, Inverloch’s Serious Surf Stuff and the Grantville retail area.

The Durham Lane installations will see four unique artworks painted along the laneway, complementing the existing artworks already adorning it’s walls.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari said that once completed, Durham Lane will become Wonthaggi’s equivalent to Hosier Lane in Melbourne.

“We want our laneways to become as internationally renowned as others and become an attraction for local and overseas visitors, so they too can Discover Wonthaggi’s Secrets,” Cr Tessari said.

The four installations along Durham Lane will be completed by local artists Carly Ablett-Meade, Craig Lockwood, Rohan Manhal and Tom Murray-White.

“The talent of our local artists’ rivals anything you will see anywhere else. Well done to our local creatives in creating something special for Wonthaggi,” added Cr Tessari

Each design will celebrate Bass Coast life and reflect the values that make Wonthaggi a great place to live. In collaboration with the buildings’ landlords and business owners, these artists have been briefed to apply their own particular style, using traditional paint and brush or acrylic spray, to realise their designs over a period of three weeks in June.

The murals are expected to be completed by late June.

For more information about this Project, contact Council’s Arts and Culture Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or email

Local artists shine at Cowes Cultural and Community Centre site

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

The redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre has presented the perfect opportunity for local artists to exhibit their works on a grand scale.

Bass Coast Shire Council has commissioned five Phillip Island-based artists to create murals on plywood boards that respond to the theme ‘My Island Home’. As construction work continues at the site, these sectional art pieces will be assembled at a variety of locations and will showcase the extraordinary artistic talent present in and around Cowes.

The artists that have been involved in the project are Marian Quigley, Steve Ulala Parker, Lynda Horsborough, Darren Henderson and Graham Gilbert.

Marian’s mural is based on a local artist’s experience of her lived environment.

“The image is of a view of Cowes-West beach – seen during my regular morning walks. The sea is a constant source of inspiration for my work and painting forms a central part of my life,” Marian said.

Boon Wurrung Yorta Yorta Erub descendant, Steve is known to many in the district for his youth work, traditional performances and advocacy for, and promotion of, Indigenous culture.

Titled ‘Woolamai Warreeny Galen Barreen’, his mural is the wareeny (ocean water) and tidal movements that run in and out of Murranbiik (Western Port) and around Millowl (Phillip Island), with a view of Cape Woolamai to Pyramid Rock and the setting sun.

“Many of my works depict the Boon Wurrung connection to this land, Millowl that we live on in Tullagum Birranga-ha (Bass Coast country),” Steve said.

Lynda’s mural pays homage to the magnificent mammals of the sea and the dark mysteries of the ancient Island.

“The craggy rocks that emerge from the depths of the sea, like strategically poised sculptures, entice us to gaze at the horizons with awe. Then by chance we see the wild beasts of the sea poke their heads above water. They are looking back at us mere humans with inquisitiveness and knowing wisdom,” Lynda said.

Darren bought his house in Cape Woolamai as a youngster 17 years ago.

“I rented it out for a while but I missed it like a ‘limb’. The ocean, surf and bird life of the entire beach is a massive inspiration to me,” Darren said.

“So my mural is an ode to Woolamai and Phillip Island, it’s clear, clean ocean and the wildlife that inhabits it.”

Raised on Wiradjuri land in the town of Condobolin, Graham’s paintings feature a broad range of native Australian animals and reflect the connection of animals to their landscapes and often reference the hunter and gatherer lifestyle lived by his ancestors.

“My design concept is based on the idea of Phillip Island being a meeting place for my people. In the sea, beyond the shoreline, are the many creatures that hunter-gatherers brought home for their tribe,” Graham said.

For more information about this project, contact Council’s Arts and Culture Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or email