I refer to an article, Sentinel-Times, April 12, ‘Walkerville plans snagged’.
‘A risk to assets along the Walkerville Foreshore and ongoing safety concerns for vehicles and pedestrians’.
With all due respect to existing Foreshore Committee Members (FCM), the FCM committee has been unelected and appointed for more than 20 years. There are members that were originally elected to the FCM then continued by appointment then resigned in frustration because of the inability to make improvements for all users.
Apart from the caravan park in which the FCM derives its substantial income, it hasn’t been willing to do the things necessary to ensure that all visitors and holiday makers can enjoy this wonderful destination.
The FCM has ignored the advice of a costly engineering study (over $60,000) carried out between 2002 and 2006, with regard to tackling the erosion problems, parking problems and the many safety issues created with the current practice of boat launching and retrieval over the beach in close proximity to other beach goers including children.
In 2006 the majority of the FCM committee ignored the wishes of about some 600 people that responded to a survey put out by the FCM in which 78 per cent or about 450 wanted the FCM to continue with the options presented in that survey and voted against it and voted not to do anything.
The FCM subsequently did nothing.
In 2008 the FCM put out a plan under the guise of improvement, which basically sought to limit the number of boaters and beach goers.
It did not and still does not address the issue of safety of beach users being in close proximity to boat launching and retrieval.
It is a plan to limit boat and trailer parking to some 15 spaces and also reduce other parking.
Apart from adding more rock to the existing seawall it had no plans for the assets that are creating erosion problems between the hall and the caravan park.
Erosion between the hall and caravan park is now within 1 to 2 metres from Bayside Drive in many places, yet there is no mention of it in current plans.
It is now extremely hypocritical for the FCM to suddenly express some concern and yet not have dealt with the very pressing issue of erosion between the caravan park and hall.
It is now nine years since that engineering study was completed.
Mr Kevin Jones states that the boat club were not consulted over this plan. As a member of the Walkerville Ratepayers and Residents Association (WRRA) I have not received any request for input or information into what should be a major WRRA issue.
There are other members that did not receive any such information. Mr Jones is correct when he says that things work very well the way they are. When the FCM were the road managers prior to 2008 the FCM insisted that they could not widen the road to create more room for parking because of roadside vegetation.
The current plan seems to have overcome that problem and also reduce the available area for parking as well?!
The FCM’s duty even though appointed should be to ensure that this wonderful recreational areas is developed for the maximum advantage for the maximum visitors, holidaymakers, beach users, boaters or just walkers. This known as a fair go, mate.
Don Atkins, Pakenham.