After attending a community information session at Inverloch’s Hub on Saturday, April 24, I came away disappointed that it has taken more than two years to produce two problematic draft proposals on how to complete the Cape Paterson to Inverloch section of the George Bass Trail.
Since the inland proposal was described as a “future cycling opportunity” it is obvious the other coastal proposal described as the “proposed new shared use trail” is the government’s preferred option.
In discussions with advisers at the information session, much weight was given to the fact that we in Inverloch do not own the coast.
Apparently, we have no claim to the roadway either as it appears the government could decide to reduce traffic to one-way only on half of the road width.
However, while anyone is welcome to enjoy the beauty and interest of the Bunurong coastline, I do not think that automatically entitles highly experienced and casual cyclists to expect a coastal view as they cycle between Cape Paterson and Inverloch.
Since seasoned cyclists currently see the Bunurong’s curves and undulations as a challenge, this does not seem an ideal mix with cycling families and walkers.
While inhaling car fumes at close range during cycling/walking is undesirable, it also seems to me that the concentration required and the distraction of oncoming cars would not allow relaxed observation of the scenery.
Locals and visitors alike have cars, while car parks off the Bunurong roadway provide the most economical and least destructive way to visit the beautiful coastline and sites of interest in that area.
It is possible that some of the “community members’” support from outside the Bass Coast (obtained by virtue of social media advertisements) is not based on knowledge of the practicalities and repercussions for the local population if one of the access roads to/from Inverloch is diminished in capacity.
Wonthaggi town and the Venus Bay Road would also be impacted at a time when development is adding to congestion in the area.
As an alternative, the inland trail draft proposal could provide cyclists/walkers of all levels the opportunity to enjoy exercise and fresh country air in a safe environment.
If two or three sidetracks could be added to cross the Bunurong at places such as the Caves, Eagles Nest and Shack Bay, this could be an ideal solution.
Rosemary Hutchinson, Inverloch.