On August 18, 2021, Bass Coast councillors narrowly passed a motion to commence what the council administrators presented as the necessary first stage to secure some non-council funding of the redevelopment of the sporting facilities at the Thompson Reserve in Inverloch.
This first stage was based on the contentious assumption that safety issues would require the relocation of the current entrance/exit from the Inverloch-Venus Bay road to residential Cuttriss Street.
A traffic management agency engaged by the council was not asked and did not pass any opinion on whether the Cuttriss Street location would be any safer than the current location.
However, it seems to me that since the Cuttriss Street location would also require vehicles to make an equivalent turn from the Venus Bay Road to enter Cuttriss Street, as it would if turning into the current entrance/exit from Inverloch-Venus Bay Road, there is no demonstrable safety gain.
The traffic management report described the current entrance/exit as having a clear view for motorists.
Unfortunately, the agenda distributed to councillors at the meeting did not prioritise the traffic management agency’s recommendation of the significant infrastructure needed at the T-intersection of the Inverloch-Venus Bay Road to be “implemented in conjunction with the council’s masterplan”, if the entrance/exit is changed to Cuttriss Street.
Although work is likely to commence soon on the Cuttriss Street entrance/exit, surprisingly, the agenda indicated that there was no budget to undertake the five significant alterations recommended for the T-intersection.
As a result, an intersection which has its own challenges will have added pressure and danger. The traffic report actually stated that the intersection needed upgrading regardless of the council’s proposal.
After itemising several negative impacts of this proposal two years ago, I had been re-assured three times by email, by council officers, that I would be informed when the traffic management report was received “to answer all my concerns at a consultation session” and that this would occur “once a final report for the traffic management plan and recommendations are received”.
No contact was made to do this, and it was only by chance that I found out about the councillors’ meeting at which the decision was to be made.
While I was very grateful for the support of several councillors after hurriedly emailing them of the treatment I had received from council, I remain puzzled as to whether those who voted for the proposal had read the traffic management report in full or had any knowledge of the area.
Rosemary Hutchinson, Inverloch.