Residents unanimous on Bellarine council offer. Shire plan excites peninsula

Alex de Vos
A Liberal party plan for a new shire on the Bellarine Peninsula has won unanimous support from residents in an Independent street poll.
The paper found only support for a Bellarine Peninsula council among shoppers at Drysdale and Ocean Grove on Wednesday.
Last week’s Independent revealed the Liberals would give residents a vote on whether to form their own council if the party won next month’s state election.
St Leonards’ Shirley Roberts backed formation of a Bellarine Peninsula council.
She hoped it would “clean up” the peninsula’s roads, gutters and footpaths.
“I’ve seen mothers with prams walk on the road because there’s no footpath – a Bellarine Peninsula council would be more concerned about the Bellarine Peninsula,” Ms Roberts said.
Clifton Springs’ Don Peace was fed up with City of Greater Geelong’s management of the peninsula.
“I’m very disappointed with council,” he said.
“They fool around in Geelong and they need a hurry up.”
Portarlington’s Heath Staines said the peninsula was better off when it had its own council, Bellarine Rural City Council, before municipal amalgamations in the 1990s.
He said the former council did “more local work” on the peninsula than the City.
Mannerim’s Yvonne Birch said the City neglected some of her favourite parts of the peninsula.
“Areas such as Swan Bay are not being looked after. It’s a beautiful area and it’s being ruined and abused.
“They (council) need to focus on local issues,” Ms Birch said.
Indented Head’s Stephanie Nash wanted a new council to keep local rates revenue on the peninsula.
Ocean Grove’s Dan O’Mera believed a new council would fix local problems “a lot quicker” than the City.
Liberal candidate for Bellarine Don Gibson yesterday set November 27 next year for a vote on whether to establish a new peninsula council if the Liberal party won next month’s state election.