Island Ward Projects and Issues
Lot 1/ 380 Back Beach Road
Carbon Sink and Bike Park
Bass Coast Shire bought 45 hectares of land at Back Beach Road, but only has plans for 4.5 hectares of that land. I propose that the remaining 40 hectares be developed into a Carbon Sink and bike park, including cross country paths, pump tracks and jump courses, as well as an amphitheater which could be used to host concerts, plays and other performance art pieces, while also providing a practice space for budding artists.
Site Next to Carnival Land
Regional Skate Park
The Site next to the Carnival Land was purchased with the intention of turning it into a Sports Precinct. With this in mind, it seems like the correct spot to place a Regional Skate Park, as well as other sporting facilities such as relocated football and netball facilities.
Bike Path Upgrades
The Pathways Masterplan needs to be inclusive of a bike path along the Cowes-Rhyll Road, and the existing paths need to be upgraded and/or rebuilt, particularly the section between Wimbledon Heights and Coghlan Road which has failed and requires replacement rather than repair. Newhaven College should be required to repair the section of the path outside their campus which was damaged during the recent civil works on the site.
Cowes Cultural Centre
The Story So Far
The Residents and Ratepayers of the Island Ward deserve something spectacular. However, with the hasty decision of the current Council to demolish the Cowes Cultural Centre before the Local Elections, they are attempting to lock the incoming Council into a hasty decision so as not to leave the Town Centre with a giant hole in the middle of it.
I believe this is poor governance, not to mention extremely audacious, given the fact that this very same Council knocked back the Grants to rebuild that were already available when they got elected. They chose instead to revamp the Cowes Jetty Triangle.
Without time to properly consult with the community and gather data on what it is we actually need in a Cultural Centre, Council cannot hope to provide everything that the Island requires. Furthermore, without time to research cutting edge, renewable and sustainable new technology, the only possible outcome is a building that is outdated before it has even opened.
However, regardless of whether or not there is a hole in the Centre of Cowes, the incoming Council should not bow to the pressure of the current. Council needs to take its time with this Redevelopment.
Where To From Here?
The first thing to remember is that the Cowes Cultural Centre needs to be rebuilt. It is not a matter of 'if' but a matter of 'when'. That current building is substandard and out of date, and it does not meet the current needs of the community.
With that in mind, it stands to reason then that the new Cowes Cultural Centre must be of the highest
technological standard, designed to be upgraded as technology evolves. We should set out with the intention of creating a building other Shires send their Planners to for inspiration.
Equally as important is the Library. I know for a fact that during the years of, at least, 2008-2012, it was part of the West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation's Policy that when the Cowes Library was rebuilt, it would be the Best Small Library in Australia.
We should approach the project as an opportunity to create something that will last till my grandkids are parents. That means taking our time to Research, Plan, Design and Budget. That means building a Cultural Centre that stands the test of time, doesn't harm the planet in any way, and that has all the facilities and technology that the community needs or will need in the future.