Six councillors voted in favour to grant a favour to the Walkerville Foreshore Reserve Committee Of Management (WFRCoM) at the South Gippsland Shire Council meeting last Wednesday, October 25.
By granting this favour, the rest of the shire’s ratepayers and residents are likely to miss out on any favours by way of more and improved parking.
As Michael Giles said recently in the Sentinel-Times, it is all about protecting the local piece of paradise and others can rack off to Port Welshpool or Inverloch.
Because it’s a shire road, shire ratepayers and residents will be expected to maintain and fund it in perpetuity.
Instead of seeking ways to make this and attractive destination for all, the WFRCoM wishes to only cater for a few.
This project by the WFRCoM on a shire road was originally proposed with the intent of restricting the boat and trailer park to only 15 parks.
After considerable yelling and screaming from the Walkerville Blue Water Boating and Angling Club (Boat Club) they won another 16 parking spots.
However some of these extra places were up to 600 metres from where they may launch or retrieve boats.
The six other objectors were not given another say as they were told six was not a sufficient number to be considered.
A councillor’s suggestion at last week’s council meeting that most people had an opportunity to comment on this proposal is not correct.
Less than 20 adjoining landowners were notified and only a few days before objections closed.
In September the WFRCoM said there was a $61,850 shortfall on the Walkerville North Foreshore Development. The WFRCoM had requested that the council fund that shortfall. Council had deferred voting on that request until this meeting on October 25.
Once again the supposed cost of this project doesn’t match up with the quoted figures in the Sentinel-Times article. The $122,000 shortfall actually now totals a $142,000 shortfall. There have been reports of $1.5 million in total for this so called development which includes the seawall.
If this is so, who is funding it? The road was flooded to a depth of about 500mm during seawall construction, and there is no reason to believe it won’t happen again as there is no apparent drainage.
If these works are finished, it is an unsightly mess and I doubt whether it would pass a safety audit with all that loose rock.
Prior to the council meeting of October 25, a comprehensive list and reasons for not funding or at least deferring further works on this proposal was sent to all councillors.
Deferring this proposal would then have allowed time for a decent roadwork appraisal and a proper study with recommendations from experienced marine engineers.
Don Atkins, Walkerville.