Mayor says growth will help Apollo Bay

Colac Otway Shire Council mayor Frank Buchanan says he disagrees with a petition to remove Apollo bay from the shire.

Colac Otway Shire Council mayor Frank Buchanan says he disagrees with a petition to remove Apollo bay from the shire.

COLAC Otway Shire Council mayor Frank Buchanan says he disagrees with a call to remove Apollo Bay from the shire.

Mr Buchanan, who lives at the coastal town, spoke to the Colac Herald after businessman Paul McFarlane revealed he had 700 signatures on a petition to remove Apollo Bay from the Colac Otway Shire.

The petition asks Victoria’s Local Government Minister to investigate the possibility of moving Apollo Bay into the Surf Coast Shire or recreating the Otway Shire and centring it on the town.

Mr Buchanan said he respected Mr McFarlane’s opinion on the matter but said the Apollo Bay businessman was on the wrong track.

“I respect Paul’s view but I don’t think it’s the right one,” he said.

“I think people expect good service and good facilities and over time Apollo Bay is getting better and better.

“I think we’re very fortunate to have the level of service we’ve got, but having said that we can also improve.”

Mr Buchanan said moving Apollo Bay to the Surf Coast Shire would present problems for the town.

“The challenge for Paul and people who want to go it alone is going to be huge,” he said.

“Going to the Surf Coast is not going to achieve one bit more than Colac Otway, Apollo Bay is even more remote to the Surf Coast headquarters than Colac is.

“And no government is going to want to step back into having smaller councils.”

Mr McFarlane started the petition after frustration from dealing with the Colac Otway Shire Council over business issues.

Mr Buchanan said Apollo Bay needed to continue its growth to support small business owners and residents.

“Everything can be improved and that’s what we’re all working towards,” he said.

“We just have to keep growing and that in turn will support a business like Paul’s which might suffer those high and lows and that’s the same as the foodies in town.

“The more we can improve that income stream with more residents or destinations for people to stay here, the better we’ll be.”

4 Responses to “Mayor says growth will help Apollo Bay”

  1. Chris Smith

    Congratulations Paul on bringing yet another spotlight to many of the issues that confront Apollo Bay and indeed most of our shire. Conversations I have had across the shire about your petition, has led to many comments of “can we leave too”. I don’t want anybody to “leave” but far more important is the fact that we SHOULD have a shire that everybody wants to JOIN. Keep up the good work of trying to make COS a better place.

  2. juggy

    Thanks Paul, appreciate ya response and support ya wanting something done. That’s a massive list and I can asure you that its rather similar here in Colac, except for obvious things like dredging… although the Lake could be, but!
    Yes, they all sit there on their massive wages and do squat! I’m always giving them my honest opinion for free and sometimes its listened too… but I’m just a local like you who cares about the place, not some Uni educated yuppie.
    Good luck.

  3. Paul McFarlane

    Juggy You asked the following..Apollo Bay Gas & Electrical 99% would be rate payers that agree hole heartily support the move probably a fifty fifty spilt currently..The former Otway Shire had consolidate revenue which went to redundancy packages from the amalgamations..The list of concerns are endless,Declining families and youth, affordable housing and full time jobs.. Closure of a popular part of the main beach adjacent to the harbor,temporary fencing and dredging, why has a permit to pump out sea not been obtained???New Dredged tied up because of disposal problems. Parking one of the big issues a report some six yrs ago still nothing except a disappointing carpark at the rear of my business.. Planning Permits and Building Permit Nightmares..Some five years ago the former CEO stated that Pascoe Street Redevelopment was a high priority for the following year..Events Co-Ordinators have not addressed business concerns as well business doesn’t receive the appropriate advisory notices as required..Rates are more expensive than those that reside in Brighton and what do they get in return?? For some a garbage service no half dozen free tickets no hard waste collection..A swimming Pool for our aging population,had the former music festival event organizers remained,maybe the town would have the funds for the Pool. Over taking lanes between Forrest and Apollo Bay.. Redevelopment of the Foreshore..Then we move onto basic services from footpaths curb,channeling and street construction even street maintenance would be a good start.. Since the media reports there has been even more support and belief that this could and should happen.The advertising campaign we are Colac didnt even mention Apollo Bay the Great Ocean Road or the Otway National ParkThe precedent has been set when the former Labor Minister allowed Mansfield and Benalla Shires to go there separate ways, not forgetting there is a Borough of Queenscliffe..Unfortunatly our shire fails to address the concerns of ratepayers and the business community..Our Shire is top heavy and resembles the titanic..!!

  4. Juggy

    So what business does Paul own? what have been his issues? How many of the 700 that signed are permanent or part time residents or even blow throughs just signing for the heck of it? I’m not knocking Paul for his efforts, id just like to see the Bay stay with COS and be treated fairly as I’m sure all residents within the shire would agree, which goes for all the town’s within. Don’t isolate yourselves, stand as a whole!