Presented to the AIDA AGM on Saturday 27th April 2019:
I would like to acknowledge that we are meeting on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung people and pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
Welcome to our ward councillor Margot Smith. Unfortunately the CEO, Keith Baillie, was unable to attend today and is an apology. Thank you, Margot, for your attendance and support of AIDA.
Welcome to all AIDA members and others from the community.
As has become the norm over the past few years, the Painkalac Valley has remained very much the centre of our attention. At this time last year we were still hopeful that the Painkalac Project might have been successful in securing agreement for the majority of the wetlands to be vested in council with a Trust for Nature covenant over it. Unfortunately, this did not eventuate but, as you will be aware, one of AIDA’s members purchased Lot 2 and is intending to rehabilitate the lot and restore its wetlands and place a Trust for Nature covenant over Lot 2. AIDA and ANGAIR are supporting this project. ‘The Painkalac Project Association’ has been disbanded as its aim of bringing the three lots on the valley into public ownership is no longer possible.
The committee, like many of AIDA’s members and others in the community, has been disappointed with the various changes that have happened to the valley over the past twelve months. Over the year we, like many of you, have been raising our concerns with the shire and requesting that the protections afforded by the ‘Conservation Management Plan’ (CMP), and other planning policies that cover the valley, be enforced.
In early December, in an attempt to resolve the various issues related to the valley, the shire decided to ask the Department of Justice Mediation Service to organise a meeting to seek to mediate the various issues. Due to difficulties with organising a date when the owners of the three lots, the lessee of Lot 3, shire officers and two AIDA representatives were all available, this session did not happen until yesterday. To ventilate the issues prior to the mediation and to clearly state
AIDA’s concerns and understanding of the controls afforded by the CMP and other planning policies we sent the shire nineteen letters, one in early March about the possibility of a new bridge for the horse-riding business, and the remainder in late March. Each letter covered
one particular issue in accordance with advice received from the shire. Exploring these issues and gaining a detailed understanding of all aspects of them, including all the existing controls, planning policies and zoning requirements, was an onerous and enormously time- consuming task, which Ian Godfrey took on. We are very thankful and appreciate his willingness to dedicate so much to the task. We will be making these letters, and the shire’s responses, available to AIDA members to read.
The mediation session yesterday lasted all day and resulted in an agreement about some issues.
Once I have finished this report I will ask Ian Godfrey, who was at the mediation with me, to come to the microphone and we will take questions you may have about the mediation session and the outcomes.
The shire’s investigation into the potential for a walking track in the Painkalac Nature Reserve to link to a revitalised area along the creek behind the Bottom Shops is complete and the project is waiting for funds to be identified before further work can be done.
AIDA held two community meetings during the year. One was to gain a better understanding about the traffic implications of the shire reopening Coalmine Road. This issue remains unresolved as the shire will consider the issue once there is clarity about the plans for the Alcoa land that is next to the road.
The other meeting – ‘Will Tourism Kill the Great Ocean Road?’ – in January was in response to the Great Ocean Road Action Plan which was released in late 2018. AIDA made a detailed submission to the taskforce and following the release of the action plan we established
a working group to closely examine the implications of boosting tourism expenditure and investment along the Great Ocean Road, as well as identifying what we believe is needed to better support local communities to benefit from the tourist economy, to maintain appropriate environmental and landscape protections and to ensure communities such as ours continue to have a voice. We remain concerned about the potential for the Great Ocean Road, the environment and local communities to be negatively impacted by the ever-increasing number of tourists. We are not alone as we are aware of other communities along the road who have similar concerns.
Both of our meetings were well attended by AIDA members and others from the community, which demonstrates there is a desire for us to hold more community meetings and we will do so again when we see an opportunity.
The GOR Action Plan staff are planning to hold a community meeting in Aireys soon to discuss the plan further and we will raise our concerns and requests at this meeting. The AIDA committee is working on a detailed submission setting out our views.
The work to replace the Moggs Creek bridge is starting and we are very pleased that VicRoads responded so positively to the community feedback to make extensive changes to their plans and pedestrian refuge lighting option.
During the year the committee continued to review all the planning applications for our area from Urquhart Bluff to Eastern View. At his request we met with Richard Riordan, the State Member for Polwarth, and with the CEO of GORCC as well as several times with VicRoads and with the shire and our ward councillors.
AIDA’s membership remains strong. It is this strength that gives AIDA its voice and we hope all members will renew their subscriptions this year. Please encourage your friends and neighbours to join up if they agree with our aims and objectives.
Our thanks go to Nan McNab for continuing to produce our beautiful newsletters.
I would like to thank the AIDA committee for its teamwork and support over the year. Everyone has put their hand up when needed. I also want to say a special thanks to the four committee members who have not renominated for the committee this year.
Janice Carpenter has been on the committee for several years and, on AIDA’S behalf, was the very committed, diligent and welcoming president of The Painkalac Project from 2016 until it wound up this year.
Gary Johnson has been the vice-president of AIDA for many years and, until recently, had the time-consuming task of reviewing all planning applications to the shire that are in our area of interest and reporting on these at our committee meetings.
Lecki Ord has been AIDA’s very able membership secretary for many years and although she is not renominating for the committee, she has agreed to continue in this capacity, for which we are very grateful.
Ian Godfrey has been on the AIDA committee for sixteen years and is a past president and treasurer. His expertise and forensic interest in planning matters will be sorely missed at our meetings but we are delighted that he has offered to be a resource whenever needed.
The Aireys and district community are very fortunate to have had the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of these four and they will all be missed and are welcome back at any time.[Ian Godfrey and Charlotte then outlined the mediation agreement and took questions from the floor.]
Charlotte Allen, President