A PIONEER Bay resident claims he and his neighbours are “prisoners in their own homes” due to Bass Coast Shire Council ripping up their sealed road two years ago.
Mike Thomas, a Kallay Drive property owner, says he is constantly battling dust problems and cannot leave his doors or windows open since council graders turned the sealed road into “a dust bowl”.
“Even with keeping all doors and windows closed, houses are inundated daily by clouds of fine dust billowing from the road,” Mr Thomas said.
He was part of a group of Kallay Drive residents who protested against council’s decision to return the road surface to gravel.
“This all started early when the council sent out letters to the residents stating that this would happen as the road had deteriorated to the stage it was ‘unsafe’,” he recalled.
“Despite objections from residents, the council proceeded with this action.”
Mr Thomas estimates his water usage has doubled since the road was torn up – even though he utilises tank water for his garden.
“This is just water used to try to remove dust on my property,” he said.
“I also have a health issue which is made substantially worse by the dust.
“While it would be normal to clean your house weekly, I have to clean mine top-to-bottom every second day, just to keep dust to a manageable level.”
Mr Thomas claims that after council contractors completed ‘reforming’ Kallay Drive, the road was worse than ever.
“It was in such a bad state that many residents could not get in our out of their driveways, and many were seen shovelling large amounts of gravel out of their drives.”
Mr Thomas noted that when Kallay Drive was treated with a primer seal in 2005, there was a belief that the council would move forward with a proper road and drainage scheme by 2012.
The scheme is years overdue, and residents are still waiting.
Project update
The council’s acting general manager Infrastructure, Cohen Van Der Velde, indicated residents may not be waiting long, since the project planning phase for a Pioneer Bay special charge scheme is well underway.
“The project planning phase for the Pioneer Bay Urban Road and Drainage Improvement project is planned for the 16/17 financial year,” he said.
“Completion of this phase will be dependent on budget approval by the council for undertaking this phase within next year’s budget.”
Mr Van Der Velde also confirmed Kallay Drive is
inspected regularly.
“A zone maintenance inspection is carried out on Kallay Drive every six weeks,” he said.
“A range of assets are inspected during the inspection with a works order then generated for any defects identified that fail to meet the service levels and have fallen outside of intervention.
“Works are then programmed and the defects rectified.
“Kallay Drive has been performing to a comparable level of other surrounding unsealed road segments; no additional material has been required to rectify defects identified through our zone inspections.”