Apollo Bay, Victoria - on the Great Ocean Road

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OTWAY FORUM REPORT NO. 235  SEPT.11TH

 

The main topic of discussion was once again the beach erosion issues facing Apollo Bay.

It was pointed out that the erosion at the back beach (Mounts Bay) was now more critical than the front beach.

Issues to be addressed included the possible loss of power, water, sewerage, and telephone services to Marengo if the erosion continues unchecked.

Also there is the issue of liability if the dune collapses on beachgoers. Can some signage be erected in the short term to warn of this danger?

Multiple reports dating back to 1996 have offered solutions but nothing has been done!

Sand bagging is a short term solution, however rock groynes will hold the sand in place for a prolonged period of time but will cost considerably more.

Should the authorities in charge(?) investigate the harvesting/dredging of sand offshore to rebuild the beaches?

A similar exercise at Lakes Entrance harvested 500,000 cubic metres of sand at a cost of $5 million.

Perhaps the new dredge promised for Apollo Bay could be ocean going and do a similar job on a smaller scale.

Why has this option not been looked at before? Cost will be the issue.

With sea levels rising by 1-2mm each year, and storm surges increasing, now is the time for some long term planning and ACTION!!!

COS also needs to start planning an inland bypass route from Wild Dog to Marengo.

Other issues-

Otway Forum can be found at apollobay.org.au

Next meeting second Sunday of each month

 9th October at Marrar Woorn


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COLAC OTWAY SHIRE COUNCIL MEETING SEPT. 28 – AGENDA ITEM NO. 11


 APOLLO BAY HARBOUR PRECINCT REDEVELOPMENT PRESENTATION OF MARKET RESEARCH RESULTS


 A SMALL VICTORY FOR DEMOCRACY


The results of a phone survey of ratepayers views on a harbour resort redevelopment at Apollo Bay was tabled and a recommendation to proceed with a planning scheme amendment.

The phone survey, (costing $27,000), of 300 ratepayers, resulted in a hung result with 45% for and 45% against the resort proposal.

However the other 3000 residents and ratepayers have still been denied a chance to put forward submissions on the Enquiry By Design redevelopment/resort proposal.

Some figures from the survey -

63% of respondents to the phone survey were non resident ratepayers.

44% of non resident ratepayers support the resort proposal.

30% of resident ratepayers support the resort proposal.

30% of respondents had little or no understanding of the redevelopment plan.

Non rate paying residents were not polled.


Cr. Stephen Hart put forward an amendment to a recommendation to begin the Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) for a harbour resort redevelopment.

The amendment called for –

 1. A councillor’s workshop to discuss the contentious resort proposal.

 2. The CEO obtain written clarification from the state government, that public funding will only be available if private investment is in the form of a resort.

 3. A council report into the previous two points to determine what part if any, the resort should have in the planning scheme amendment.


Each councillor spoke on the amendment and then a vote was taken, which resulted in 5 for and 2 against.


Mayor Crook and Cr. Buchanan voted against it as they believed -

 1   There was no time to delay the PSA.

 2   The contentious phone survey showed support for the PSA.

 3   The 900 signature community petition opposing the resort, was invalid.


Otway Forum believes the telephone survey of 300 ratepayers was a highly contrived exercise in push polling, which relied on hypothetical assumptions and resulted in many contradictory figures.

The option to have a redevelopment of the Apollo Bay harbour, without a resort was not put to the residents and ratepayers.

It would have been nice for the Apollo Bay community to have seen the results of the phone survey before the councillors voted to proceed with a planning scheme amendment.

The phone survey results can be viewed at the shire offices or on the COS website>About council>council agenda>2011 ordinary council meeting>110928 agenda part 2 pages 173 - 238


Otway Forum’s alternative proposal, that can be found at apollobay.org.au, has wide spread community support, will cost substantially less, is easily attainable and will not require a long, costly and divisive planning scheme amendment.

Three previous plans for a harbour resort redevelopment have been rejected over the past 20 years.


When will Colac Otway Shire and the state government listen to the local community, and respond to a more modest achievable, sustainable and popular proposal?????