• Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)
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Bass Coast Shire Council and Visitor Information Services on the pathway to Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Destination Certification

05 /03/ 2020 Comments are Closed

Bass Coast Shire Council is acutely aware of its responsibility to preserve and enhance its natural environment and to ensure its sustainability.

The Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035 identified that the environment is the economy of Phillip Island and San Remo. Game Changer 1 of the strategy is to work towards gaining international certification as a sustainable destination under GSTC.

In 2017 Council embarked on the process of becoming accredited using the Earth Check platform to achieve certification.

The accreditation process involves carefully tracking Council’s performance against 20 indicators which demonstrate the regions commitment to sustainability and improving environmental and social outcomes. Benchmarking provides Bass Coast Shire Council with a vehicle for sustainability reporting and is based on the premise of continual improvement. The areas identified for improvement include:

  • energy consumption
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • particular matter produced
  • land set aside for green space
  • destination safety theft rate & assault rate
  • unemployment rate

In 2019 Council was successful in achieving Bronze Benchmarking. It has created partnerships with key stakeholder groups to progress to full accreditation. Phillip Island Nature Parks, Westernport Water, Phillip Island Conservation Society, Bass Coast Landcare and Totally Renewable Phillip Island are all equally committed to Bass Coast Shire Council achieving full certification.


The Newhaven and Cowes Visitor Information Centres have been updating their practices to help Council achieve the environmental standards required by the GSTC.

  • A drink fountain has been installed at Newhaven to accommodation refilling water bottles to help eliminate single use water bottles
  • Both centres are working towards being completely free of single use plastic
  • The souvenir product range is being reviewed to maximise the use of recycled sustainable goods, with the furry penguins now made from recycled drink bottles and crocheted eyes instead of plastic.
Grace Maynard

About the Author

Grace Maynard


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