RATEPAYERS in Sunderland Bay and Surf Beach estates could pay a special charge scheme should council implement a road and drainage improvement program.
This is part of council’s Urban Road and Drainage Program, which has delivered infrastructure upgrades in many areas over the years.
The upgraded areas are delivered as a special charge scheme, which is a legislated process under the Local Government Act 1989.
The Act allows council to pass on the cost of constructing sealed roads, kerb and channel, footpaths, underground drainage and other capital infrastructure to the owners of properties.
As part of the preliminary planning works being undertaken, council will be gathering information from the community between October 25 to November 22, 2021.
This includes collecting information on issues such as dust, flooding, erosion, dangerous traffic situations, pedestrian safety and lack of lighting.
A timeline of the project is as follows:
* October – November 2021: Information gathering from property owners
* November – December 2021: Sharing collated information with property owners after requesting a questionnaire to be undertaken
* February – March 2022: Presenting information gathered and questionnaire results to a council meeting to determine if more detailed planning and investigations will proceed, based on level of support from the community to have the road and drainage upgrade works undertaken

The issue of dust at Surf Beach and Sunderland Bay has long been a problem for the estates’ residents.
A petition containing 87 signatures was presented to council earlier this year, which called on council to install traffic calming measures on Bateman Avenue and The Esplanade, where sealants were removed resulting in increased dust levels.
While at council’s recent October meeting, several questions were presented during question time relating to Surf Beach roads.
The initial consultation phase will primarily take place online, and to provide feedback, visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/surfbeachroads to access the interactive map and engagement platform.

Previous special charges
A special charge scheme was undertaken at South Dudley estate area, which was started in 2008 and finished in 2011/12.
The estate had a history of poor road and drainage infrastructure, and the upgrade of the area cost $2.6m, of which 58 per cent was funded by the local property owners.
The project scheme area included 151 properties, which equates to an average cost of $10k per property.
The costs were distributed to property owners based on a combination of road frontage and area of land.