Welcome to Bass Coast Ratepayers & Residents Association (BCRRA)

BCRRA was formed in 2016.

It is a shire-wide community association which seeks to raise the standard of accountability, transparency, community engagement, and fiscal discipline at Bass Coast Shire Council.

The association is operated by volunteers, all of whom are ratepayers or residents of Bass Coast.

We welcome your interest in BCRRA and we hope that you will show your support by becoming a member.

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NEWS

28 March 2022

BCRRA has delivered its submission to Council regarding the Communications and Engagement Strategy review.

The submission can be viewed here

8th March 2022

THE SENTINEL TIMES REPORTS

Sentinel Times 08 March 2022, page 19

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NEW COMMITTEE AT BCRRA

4th March 2022

Following the BCRRA AGM held on Saturday 19 Feb 2022, a new committee has been elected by members.

Having been off the committee for more than a year, Kevin Griffin has again taken up the role of BCRRA President.

“I look forward to the challenges ahead. At the AGM I gave my commitment that, as when last in the role, I will be forthright and public in my advocacy through BCRRA on behalf of its members, and for the wider Bass Coast ratepayer and resident cohort.”

Well known Bass Coast community member Graham Jolly has taken on the role of BCRRA Treasurer.

Graham is a fierce advocate for improved performance from Bass Coast Shire Council.

Before Graham and his wife moved to Cape Woolamai, Graham was a driving force with Cardinia Ratepayers Association, where that association drove improvements in the local council.

Also joining the BCRRA committee is Greg Stevens.

Greg is a new member to BCCRA and he has had quite some experience in dealing with councils in Victoria, We look forward to his energy being put to work on behalf of BCRRA.

The new committee has hit the ground running. Within days of being elected the association president wrote to BCSC CEO Ali Wastie, and to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, to advise them that BCRRA intends to fully pursue the FOI request which was lodged with council in July 2019. The FOI request seeks information regarding Councils expensive waste management contracts.

It’s nearly 3 years since the association submitted its FOI request to Council. The new committee commends the resilience and patience of the outgoing committee in bringing the FOI request to this point.

The association trusts that Bass Coast Shire Council will now take all reasonable steps to produce the remaining information without further delay

BCRRA AGM

21st January 2022

The Association’s 2021 AGM will take place on Saturday February 19th 2022.

We had hoped to hold this meeting “in person”, but we have recently seen the COVID situation deteriorate unpredictably. Having taken advice from Bass Coast Health, the decision has been made to hold the meeting online via “Zoom” in order to best protect us all.

Please save the date in your calendar. For more information, click here

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BCRRA MEMBERS MEET WITH WARD COUNCILLORS

6th December 2021

BCRRA Members met recently with several ward councillors to discuss several topics of current community interest:

  1. Missing details in various council reports causing community questions at council meetings. How much information are our residents allowed to have access to?
  2. Inconsistent financial figures reported in various reports to ratepayers.
  3. Equity Reserves and what they comprise of and the supporting funds source.
  4. Deferring Capital Works Projects and Carryover Capital Works Projects.
  5. Key performance Indicators set by councillors through the process of ‘Notice of Motion’.
  6. Waste charge to ratepayers $500.92 what does this charge comprise of?
  7. Media Engagement Policy problems.
  8. What reporting changes has council presented to Councillor’s moving forward with a view to greater clarity?
  9. We have the fourth highest paid CEO in the State; do ratepayers receive appropriate value?
  10. Progress of funding applications for the Aquatics Centres .
  11. Better communication of Community Consultation opportunites to engage the whole community
  12. Promotion of specific projects by Ward Councillors
  13. Status of delayed Projects and Policies.

Discussions were positive, and the suggestion was that similar meetings should be held regularly!

To download a copy of the spreadsheet data compiled prior to these discussions, click here

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AN UPDATE ON WHAT’S HAPPENED THIS YEAR

4th December 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, here’s an update on the year’s activities.

The BCRRA committee held a meeting early this year with BCSC’s Mayor, Brett Tessari, Deputy Mayor, Michael Whelan, and CEO, Ali Wastie. One important topic discussed was communication. It was agreed that direct dialogue was preferable to conversations carried out in public or via social or print media, and we have worked with that agreement this year.

Amongst our other activities this year, we have

  • progressed our FOI request (made in June 2019) for a copy of the waste contract
    • we have finally received a decision from Council which should see documents in our hands very soon!
  • made the community aware of matters put out by Council for public comment
    • we made a submission to Regional Roads Victoria on your behalf about Speed limit reviews on Phillip Island which are now being implemented
  • advocated to Council for greater rate relief under hardship conditions
    • Council adopted a revised Hardship Policy in September which now allows consideration of rate discounting or waivers in certain cases.
  • asked Council to progress support for the $25 million investment to build social and affordable housing in Bass Coast announced by  the State Government in November 2020
    • Council advised their Social and Affordable Housing Strategy is in development and will set out the current supply of housing and services, the future needs for each and the opportunity to tap into this funding to deliver for those most vulnerable in the community
  • asked what progress had been made with amendments to planning schemes to enable Council review and oversight of domestic wind turbines
    • Council advised they are about to commence a review of local laws, expected to be ready for adoption by Council in May 2022
  • assisted Council by reviewing and making a submission on the draft Unreasonable Conduct by Customers Policy prior to adoption           

The 2021 annual general meeting of the Bass Coast Ratepayers and Resident Association has been postponed until early next year, and we hope that we may be able to hold an “in-person” meeting then, rather than a virtual one. We’ll let you know the date in due course.

If you wish the association to keep vibrant, please consider being more involved and become a financial member. You can learn more and download a membership form here.

The more active members the association has, the better it can represent the whole shire community!

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AQUATICS IN BASS COAST

3rd June 2021

Bass Coast Shire Council has now released concept plans and draft feasibility studies for both Wonthaggi and Phillip Island Aquatic Leisure Centres. Community feedback is needed to help shape these important developments.

See https://basscrra.org/aquatics/ for more……

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BCRRA JOINS RATEPAYERS VICTORIA

30th January 2021

We are now members of Ratepayers Victoria, the state-wide ratepayer advocacy group. They have developed and fostered strong relationships with a number of key State Government organisations including:
• Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
• Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO)
• Local Government Inspectorate (LGI)
• Local Government Victoria (LGV)
• The Ombudsman’s Office
• Essential Services Commission (ESC)
• The Local Government Minister, The Hon. Shaun Leane MP

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COUNCIL MOVES TOWARDS IMPROVED ENGAGEMENT

21st December 2020

Two positive steps were taken by our new Council at the December meeting.

The Draft Community Engagement Policy 2021 was released for community engagement, and Live Streaming of Council meetings is to continue following the success of the six-month trial.
For more information click here

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THE COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS ARE IN !

6th November 2020

The VEC has confirmed the results and we now know our new Councillors for the next four years.

Bunurong Ward:

Brett Tessari
Leticia Laing
Les Larke

Island Ward:

Michael Whelan
Ronnie Bauer
David Rooks

Westernport Ward:

Bruce Kent
Rochelle Halstead
Clare Le Serve

We look forward to seeing how their pre-election plans and commitments unfold over the coming weeks.

For voting details visit https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/…/bass-coast-shire-council

To see their election profiles, go to https://basscrra.org/council-elections-2020/

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STORM OVER WIND TURBINE IN SURF BEACH

18 August 2020

Click here for details

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LOCAL PRESS REPORTS COUNCIL RESPONSE TO SURVEY

11 August 2020

To read a clearer version of this article, click here

BCRRA conducted an online survey between 21st May and 21st June 2020 to gauge the community’s current feelings about Council. You can view or download the results and recommendations here.

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CHANGES TO GOVERNANCE AT BCSC

22 July 2020

Bass Coast Shire Council called on the community to provide feedback on its Draft Governance Rules which they must adopt by 1 September 2020.
You can find details here https://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/about-council/council-meetings-information

This was an opportunity to help shape the way Council delivers public question time, as well as the timelines and conduct of its meetings.

BCRRA has put a submission in to Council which you can read here.

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BCRRA’S SUBMISSION TO COUNCIL ON THE DRAFT ANNUAL BUDGET 2020/21

21 July 2020

After reviewing the Council’s 2020/21 Draft Budget, BCRRA put in a submission which you can read in full here.
There was a special meeting of Council on 29 July 2020 to consider submissions, and the Final 2020/21 Budget was presented at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 19 August for adoption, along with the outcomes of any submissions.
For more information, please see Council’s website here

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CONCERNS OVER RISING WASTE CHARGES

July 7, 2020

BCRRA is concerned about more Waste charge increases – click here for a larger view of this article

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PANDEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES

June 5, 2020

Covid-19 has changed all our lives. We hope you are keeping safe and well in these uncertain times.

Bass Coast Shire Council has worked with South Gippsland Shire Council, the Latrobe Health Assembly, the South Coast Primary & Community Partnership and local service providers to develop a resource booklet for the community. This provides information on local services and supports available during this difficult time, and how best to contact them.  You can download a copy of the booklet here.

(Should this link fail to work, please check Council’s web page here.)

We would like to thank the community for the support they are providing to each other and to also extend our thanks to service providers who have continued to support the community through these difficult times.

Coming Events

BCRRA AGM

The Association’s 2021 AGM will take place on Saturday February 19th 2022.
We had hoped to hold this meeting “in person”, but having recently seen the COVID situation deteriorate unpredictably, and after advice from Bass Coast Health, the decision has been made to hold the meeting online via “Zoom” in order to best protect us all.

Please save the date in your calendar. For more information, click here

We will advise the community closer to the time of the final arrangements.

Bass Coast Shire Council Meetings

The next Ordinary Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday 16 February 2022.

At the December 2021 Council meeting, the following meeting schedule was set for 2022:

DateVenueTime
16 February 2022Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber1.00pm
16 March 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
20 April 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
18 May 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
15 June 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
20 July 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
17 August 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
21 September 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
19 October 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
16 November 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm
14 December 2022 Wonthaggi, Civic Centre Chamber 1.00pm

Livestreaming will remain as standard practice for all Council meetings to provide the community with options in viewing the meeting at their convenience or attending in person. The Council meeting schedule also supports an option to return to virtual meetings should the public health situation change or there be any technical difficulties in livestreaming. Any required changes to meeting locations will be shared with the community on Council’s website and through social media.

Live streaming of Council Meetings takes place online, either live as the meeting takes place or via archived video anytime later. Links to available streams and also links to all meeting minutes are on the Bass Coast Shire website here.

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Your Council

LIVE STREAMING OF COUNCIL MEETINGS

It’s now possible to watch the Council Meetings online, either live as the meeting takes place or anytime later using the same link. Links to available streams and also links to all meeting minutes are on the Bass Coast Shire website here.