SUGGESTIONS by an environment lobby group for a super south-west council and relocation of Port Fairy’s golf club and airstrip have been howled down.
Moyne Shire mayor James Purcell described Victorian National Parks Association report as “the most ridiculous suggestions I’ve ever seen”.
He said the state government was unable to properly look after its existing Crown land reserves, so any additions by turning the golf course and airstrip back into nature areas would be a waste.
“They are in good hands now and certainly better maintained than what would happen if given back to the government,” Cr Purcell said.
The association’s ‘Coast is Unclear’ report warns that changes are needed along the state’s coastline to protect endangered plant species and stop further encroachment of housing and commercial developments.
It suggests a merger of Warrnambool City with the shires of Moyne and Corangamite to create a West Coast Shire and ensure more co-ordinated planning.
Enlargement of coastal parks at Yambuk, Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Port Campbell by adding other pockets of Crown land and purchasing farm land have also been recommended.
Cr Purcell said coastal land in the Yambuk district had been in private ownership for 150 years and was well managed.
“As for the super council idea there’s no need and no community push,” he said. “I think there should be de-amalgamation. There are now three levels of government each covering the same services.
“It needs to be separated to get rid of duplication.
“Local government was originally set up to look after roads — so take the responsibility from VicRoads and give it to councils.
“We’d have a better network. Councils know their roads better than other governments.”