Following the defeat of a similar proposal in September, East Gippsland Shire Council endorsed a plan to take over management responsibilities for the public areas of Bullock Island, Lakes Entrance at the October 8 Council meeting.
The Notice of Motion put forward by Cr Dick Ellis strengthened Council’s ability to relinquish responsibility for the site if it posed an unacceptable cost burden to ratepayers.
Bullock Island overlooks the man-made entrance to Bass Strait and is a popular fishing and crabbing location. The Crown land is currently managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
The motion, passed unanimously, states Council will enter into a partnership agreement with DELWP that make Council the committee of management for the island’s vacant public open space.
Mayor Cr Natalie O’Connell said the resolution provided better safeguards for ratepayers.
“While Council had no plans to take responsibility for maintaining the seawalls, this resolution ensures we will further mitigate the costs of managing this land.
“We will look at other Crown land we manage that could possibly be relinquished to the Crown to offset the addition of Bullock Island,” Cr O’Connell said.
“Council has a master plan for Bullock Island and can see the need for improved infrastructure, such as toilets. Unfortunately, as Council was not the land manager, we were ineligible to apply for any funding opportunities for improvement work on the island.
“Council understands the importance of Bullock Island to Lakes Entrance residents and visitors, and looks forward to moving forward with the partnership agreement and making much-needed improvements to this area,” Cr O’Connell said.