Archive:   Apollo Bay Councillor Sacking

Last Updated  15/10/10


Apollo Bay Activist Puts It All In Print:  "The Great Ocean Gulf - The Story Of A Strategic Planning Fiasco" By John Spencer

(22/5/10 - C)  Excellent, brilliantly-written and thought-provoking book about the Apollo Bay "Great Ocean Green" proposal that saw Colac-Otway councillors sacked for not supporting the mega-development on the Barham River floodplain, written from a community perspective.  A must read for all activists.


You can buy a copy of the book by contacting John Spencer at PO Box 185, Apollo Bay, Victoria, 3233, or by email on  Cost is $27.50 plus $5.60 parcel post (total: $31.50).


MRRA Says:


We have a declaration to make because our secretary is quoted in the book.  MRRA did not however have any association with or role in its production.


That said, this is a sadly beautiful book, so wonderfully written it grabs you from the first paragraph. The sadness comes from the sheer idiocy of the Apollo Bay proposal, and the traction it somehow got which took it all the way up to the Minister for Planning before the gravy train was stopped.  Whither thou goest, common sense?  


The book also highlights the frustration, pain and cost to community when such unsound ideas move forward.  Many of you will be overly-familiar with these circumstances.  If you aren't, you can begin your initiation here.


The author describes the book as potentially being of use to individuals and groups who are fighting their own battles with developments. 


We second that, and heartily recommend this attractively packaged soft cover book as a community asset, not to mention a bloody good read. 


Congratulations John, for a superb effort, a deep compassion, and a valuable legacy.


More Information On Councillor Sackings At Apollo Bay

(14/12/07 - P)  Reports from local press

MRRA has received copies of 4 articles that have been attributed as appearing in the Colac Herald, reporting on the walk-out and subsequent dismissal of three Councillors at Colac Otway Shire. 

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4


Colac Otway Councillors Sacked By State Government For Objecting To Huge Development Proposal On Flood Plain

(9/12/07 - P)  Greed and developers 1; community and environment 0.

Three Colac Otway Shire councillors, who object to the approval of a $200 million housing and golf course development on a flood plain in Apollo Bay, have been sacked by Local Government minister, Richard Wynne.  The Councillors walked out of a council meeting in October and their departure prevented the Council being able to vote on the development proposal.  The Councillors later failed to attend a Call of the Council instigated by the Colac Otway CEO, who then referred the matter to the Victorian Local Government minister.  The 3 Councillors are Stuart Hart, Brian Crook, and Geoff Higgins. 


Mr Hart is quoted on the ABC's website as saying: "I'm almost speechless. This is all over a flood plain development, and this decision tells me that that development is going to go ahead and to pave the way they've got rid of the three dissenting councillors."


MRRA Says:


There is a very big message here.


MRRA has had contact with a community group fighting this gross, greedy and illogical development proposal, and the thing that stands out about it is the sheer stupidity of trying to do what the developers want to do.  Our information is that being on the floodplain is only one of some quite sizable problems with it - using totally out of date sea levels to assess the proposal is another, we understand. 


Yes, there are rules in the Local Government Act which had to be upheld, but the dissenting Councillors aren't really the issue.  The development is, along with a lack of accountability in planning and decision-making processes.


So what's the message that comes from this action under these circumstances?  Development, greed, unsustainability, profit and the like will be backed by the State government, regardless of danger or damage to people and the environment. 


What a long way Victoria still has to go before it comes into the 21st century...