The Queenscliffe Council will seek state government approval for a review of the boundary between the borough and the City of Greater Geelong. (CoGG), with a view to creating one single municipality incorporating the entire 3225 postcode zone.
Boundary change is firmly back on the agenda after Councillors unanimously voted to write to Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins, formally requesting a panel be established to investigate the move.
Queenscliffe CEO Lenny Jenner will write to the CoGG informing them of the resolution.
A detailed report into potential harmful impacts of the change will also be prepared, after newly elected Councillor Peter Russell successfully amended an existing motion amid concerns about costs, infrastructure and staffing-related matters associated with annexing wst Point Lonsdale.
“We hear a lot of discussion out there about rates, income coming in and the likely justification for such matters but there are other issues at hand… and they are the likely impacts on the borough of Queenscliffe.
“Net financial costs; meaning is it going to be all one way with rates coming in or are there expenditures consequential on a boundary change. Major road works will come with this boundary change - Grubb Road, Bellarine Highway – whose responsibility are those infrastructure issues and [the] state infrastructure in these areas,” he said.
“This area is well known for having a chequered history for planning issues and there is currently one residential area, a very large planning permit and development [on the opposite side of the boundary] – have we got the depth of skills in this planning department to handle that. [And] Staffing issues, there are going to be relevant issues there with the [successful] change of boundary so I think an overview of this matter is something that I would be looking for from the CEO,” Cr Russell said.
The push to pursue a larger municipality followed a public forum in January attended by Ms Hutchins and some 100 residents – for and against the move.
Queenscliffe’s preferred option would see the boundary shifted from Fellows Road to Heggies Lane, on the western side of The Point estate, lifting the borough’s rate revenue stream by more 1,000 additional homes.
Mr Jenner said achieving change was in keeping with the Council Plan and sentiment contained within the Point Lonsdale Structure Plan for a consistent planning framework.
“Community connectedness is a consistent concern raised by residents of Point Lonsdale who seek to actively participate in community consultation and stay connected with local projects,” he said.
“The municipal boundary dividing a section of Point Lonsdale into the City of Greater Geelong presents issues related to the consistent governance and decision making related to this township.”
MEANWHILE the Point Lonsdale Civic Association has thrown its support behind a united 3225 municipality. At its February meeting members voted to pursue discussion on boundary change.
The organisation is proposing another community meeting to further debate the move.
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