The announcement of the new Wonthaggi Secondary College Junior Campus is exciting, however, I am bewildered at the chosen location. In what should be an exciting expansion for local education I fail to see a positive in the location at Potters Hill Road, San Remo.
Potters Hill Road is accessed directly from the Phillip Island Road. Experience has proven it is often difficult to re-enter the Phillip Island Road due to traffic. With years 7-9 from a school boasting approximately 1500 students set to attend the new campus at Potters Hill Road, you add the school traffic consisting of busses and cars plus the traffic from school staff and it will be significantly busier.
Potters Hill Road is also home to the Silverwater Resort which consists of over 150 apartments with capacity to cater for up to 500 guests. Check-in time is from 3pm. Add that to the after-school traffic and it will be less than manageable for the flow of traffic trying to use it.
Furthermore, Potters Hill Road is home to a rapidly expanding residential estate with new homes being built consistently.
The existing road safety of Potters Hill Road and Shetland Heights Road is already a hot topic and well known to Bass Coast Shire with many residents raising the issue. It’s obvious the new school will multiply the dangers.
Did the planning department of the new school campus consider the massive increase in traffic the school campus will attract? Is there a plan for road upgrades and pedestrian paths to accommodate what will be a massive increase in traffic?
Surely there were better sites.
Of course, options for the new campus are many and I can’t help but think Bass would make a far more sensible location for the new campus. With dual lane highway access and plenty of land, a site at Bass would be ideal. In fact, the distance to Bass from Wonthaggi is approximately 23.5km taking 18 minutes to drive.
Did anyone from the planning department of the new school campus consider this? The logic of traffic and access alone makes it hard to look past in comparison to the Potters Hill Road site.
The announcement of the campus site revealed on December 24 was hardly a positive end to 2020. In fact, I can’t help but suspect this was a strategic time for a sensitive media release to avoid any possible immediate negative response.
It could be taken as a sign of a guilty conscience. Perhaps not. Or perhaps a classic dump and run technique.
If there is a positive spin on the chosen location of this project I would be delighted to see and or hear it.
I’d love to believe commonsense and appropriate planning and ultimately intelligent spending of government funds will see a more suitable site, however, as it was revealed on Christmas Eve, construction is set to begin in February.
Stephen Tuff, San Remo.