People power to the fore

People power at the Save the Barwon Heads Library rally on Sunday. 169643

By Justin Flynn

People power looks to have saved the Barwon Heads Library.
Around 400 people attended a rally to save the library on Sunday, where it was announced that the council is likely to abolish its plans to close the library. The council will meet on 27 June and it was revealed at the rally that it is likely to reverse its decision.
Since the council announced the libraries at Barwon Heads, Chilwell and Highton would close, the community has rallied against the proposals.
The council initially said the libraries would close on 30 June, but granted a three-month extension. The council’s three administrators are likely to keep the libraries open until midway through 2018 and then leave the final decision to the elected councillors later this year.
Spokesperson for the rally, Mandy Bridges, said the group was with excited at the prospect of retaining the town’s library.
“We are pleased that we have been listened to and that our views have been heard,” she told the Voice.
“We are happy with the recommendation of the City of Greater Geelong to continue to operate the Barwon Heads Community Library. We want GRLC and the council to work with us and make changes to properly recognise the value of our community library model and enhance our library service to ensure that we are not facing closure again next year. We look forward to having an elected councillor to work with and to progressing these issues in the long term interests of our small coastal village.”
More than 1200 signatures have been collected to help save the Barwon Heads library and good old fashioned people power looks to have won the day.
“We think the rally was a great success,“ Ms Smith said.
“It was wonderful to see so many people of all ages at the rally. We were heartened by the number of people who responded to our call to show support for our library.”
The rally was attended by Federal Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson, Bellarine MP Lisa Neville and Western Victoria Region MP Simon Ramsay.
All three spoke to the crowd of their willingness for the library to remain open and all were optimistic that the council would overturn its decision on 27 June.