The Shire of Bass was named after Surgeon George Bass, the first European to 'discover' Western Port on 4 January 1798. Samuel Anderson was the first settler in the area, in 1835; a township named Bass River developed.

Phillip Island became a District on 8 September 1871; the Shire of Phillip Island and Woolamai was created on 24 December 1874. A separate Shire of Phillip Island was established on 18 September 1928. The Shire of Bass was established on 8 January 1929.

In 1985 the Shire of Bass issued a medal to commemorate the sesquicentenary of Victoria (NU 20719). It featured a bust of Samuel Anderson.

On 2 December 1994 the Shires of Bass and Phillip Island, the Borough of Wonthaggi, and part of the Shires of Woorayl, Korumburra and Cranbourne united to become the Shire of Bass Coast. Bass Coast, to the east of Melbourne, includes the towns of Bass, Cape Paterson, Corinella, Cowes, Grantville, Newhaven, Rhyll, San Remo, Wonthaggi and Inverloch.

In June 2001 the population of Bass Coast was 25,683. The economy of the Shire rests on tourism, fishing, dairying, coal mining and, to a lesser extent, manufacturing. In recent years it has experienced sustained building growth. Educational facilities include the Casey Institute of TAFE, which has its Bass Coast campus at Wonthaggi.

Municipal Association of Victoria website, accessed 09/12/2003.
Blake, L. (1977). Place Names of Victoria.

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