Surf Beach Sunderland Bay special charge scheme off the table

Bass Coast Shire Council has formally acknowledged plans for a Surf Beach Sunderland Bay special charge scheme will not proceed, after extensive community consultation showed the majority of impacted ratepayers objected to paying for proposed road and drainage upgrades.

At its meeting today, in line with legislative requirements, Council resolved not to proceed with the special charge scheme.

Earlier this year, Council voted to cost works to improve the quality and safety of local roads, reduce dust and upgrade poor drainage, but stressed all decisions would be made in conjunction with property owners.

Under the Local Government Act, if more than half of property owners lodge objections to the proposed special charge scheme, then the project cannot proceed.

Bass Coast Mayor Clare Le Serve said the community had been integral to the consultative process and she thanked property owners for their valuable feedback over the past 18 months.

“Council appreciates the property owners who gave their time and assisted during the consultation process by identifying issues, developing concept options and selecting a preferred upgrade option to take to the community,” Cr Le Serve said.

“While the feedback suggests the majority of property owners objected to the proposal, we acknowledge that some residents supported the upgrade and will be disappointed with this result. This includes a petition of 317 signatures requesting not to abandon the special charge scheme.

“At this point in time, there is not enough support from the community to proceed. However, if there is a street or small area where at least 70% of property owners support an upgrade in the future, it could be considered under Council’s Urban Road and Drainage Policy.

“In the meantime, Council will continue to maintain the existing gravel roads and associated roadside drains in accordance with current practices.”

/Public Release. View in full here.