A BENA resident is calling for better directional signs along the Bena-Kongwak Road after GPS systems continue to send tourists travelling along the South Gippsland Highway through Bena to reach Inverloch. Rather than continuing through to Korumburra, the GPS systems, which detect the shortest route, instruct drivers to turn off the highway at Bena and travel along Bena-Kongwak Road. The tourists travel past the intersection of Andersons Inlet Road and then within metres their GPS then instructs them to perform a u-turn.
John and Margaret Martin’s Bena property is the first driveway after the turn-off and the tourists, following their GPS instructions, enter the driveway before attempting to drive across the grass median strip and back onto the road. However, more often than not they are becoming bogged in the wet grass. They then make the trek down the Martins driveway, hoping for some help to get their cars out. With the recent wet weather, Ms Martin had to tow the latest bogged vehicle out with her Ferguson tractor. “I do get concerned that it is a safety issue when we are getting them out because it is on a bend and a car could come around the corner too fast and we are in the middle of the road,” she said.
While Ms Martin says she is happy to help out the bogged travellers, she believes the problem could easily be solved if there were better road signs at the Andersons Inlet Road intersection to indicate that is the correct way to Inverloch. “The tourists get out here, there are no signs and they drive straight past the turn-off,” she said. “Then their GPS tells them to make a u-turn so they pull into our driveway and then become stuck.” With recent wet weather the median strip has become a muddy mess, and while Ms Martin can fill in the holes and re-sew the grass, she expects it won’t be long before another lost traveller becomes stuck again. South Gippsland Shire Councillor Bob Newton visited the Martins’ property recently and said he would raise the problem with council. “We will be able to get some signs put up,” Mr Newton said. “It is a simple solution.”