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In 2021, Ratio’s Gippsland office threw open its doors at its new location on 154 Macleod Street, Bairnsdale.
The office was established by Ratio Director Tim Biles, an expert in town planning and urban design with over 40 years’ industry experience devising design-led planning processes to benefit the community.
Tim has been a Gippsland regular for more than 30 years and has already contributed substantial professional placemaking expertise to the region through his work with the Shire of East Gippsland.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tim seized the opportunity to relocate to the Gippsland area and founded Ratio’s first office in the south-east region of Victoria.
“We’re really interested in offering localised transport, planning and urban design advice to a region that’s expanding its population. We want to lift the quality of design development in this area,” Tim says.
In September 2021, Landscape Architect Elizabeth Heath joined the local team to assist the opening of the new office.
Ratio’s Gippsland headquarters will service private sector clients, industry and Council bodies, offering specialised services in town planning and urban design projects, with a focus on accentuating the local region and helping to guide the suburbanisation of the growing Gippsland area.
We caught up with Director Tim Biles to learn a bit more about his must-tries for the Gippsland region.
Where would you go for an evening out?
“I would take out my little boat and putter across the bay to the Metung Hotel where I could have a seafood platter and crisp local pinot gris from Lightfoot & Sons Wine.”
Your favourite coffee haunt?
“Our office is opposite the Book Nook Café at Schoolworks Supplies who have terrific staff and ambiance.”
A regional specialty to try?
“There’s some honest-to-goodness simple fabulous food here ‒ Gippsland jersey milk, Forge Creek eggs and Picnic Point apples. The apples are grown at the back of Bairnsdale and they’re just fabulous.”
Best local day trip?
“There are helicopters that can take you on joy rides into Lakes Entrance where you can see the full length of the Ninety Mile Beach, almost to Wilson’s Prom. If you look south, you can see the oil riggs at Bass Strait and to the east you can see Point Hicks. If you travel down past Lake Tyers you can just about spy Mallacoota.
If you prefer to stay grounded, I suggest driving up through Swifts Creek and Omeo and into Hotham and Dinner Plain to inhale the alpine air. Then, you can drive onto Beechworth. Yackandandah, and stay for night. There’s a lovely place at Beechworth to stay called Stone Tryst.”
Drop into the Ratio Gippsland office to speak with Tim Biles about achieving innovative urban design solutions that are conducive both to planning policy and community enrichment.