The Southern Bellarine Coastal Forum held at the Shell Road Pavilion in Ocean Grove on Friday 21 June 2019 was a great success with almost 130 people in attendance representing a variety of views on what should and should not be permitted to occur in the rural area to the south of Shell Road between the townships of Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale.
11 excellent speakers helped all the participants to better understand and appreciate the cultural, environmental, recreational and tourism opportunities and risks of the area. Led by Ocean Grove based professional forum facilitators Martin De Los Rios and Sofiah Mackay using sophisticated software allowed participants with smart phones or other mobile devices to ask questions and express opinions live in the forum. All participants then actively engaged in small group discussion sessions after each speaker to identify and document their views on the opportunities and risks.
In summary, there was generally support for some form of off-road link or links for safe walking and safe cycling but the route it should take must be very strongly influenced by the environment and cultural issues expertly described by the presenters and audience members.
Now the hard work begins as we need to review all the presentations, work through the questions raised, and analyse the inputs and impressions of the participants and draft a report. We think this will us at least three to four weeks, however we will provide regular updates on the Ocean Grove Community Association website and on our facebook page.
Pdf copies of most of the speakers presentations should be on our website in a week or so under the “Documents” tab.
Ocean Grove Community Association would like to thank our speakers, all our forum partners, our facilitators and all the participants who collectively made this great forum possible.