RESIDENTS have swamped an interactive map with comments after council announced it would explore a special charge scheme at Surf Beach and Sunderland Bay estates on Phillip Island.
Part of council’s Urban Road and Drainage Program, the scheme 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.
This is a legislated process under the Local Government Act 1989.
As part of the preliminary planning works being undertaken at the estates, council is gathering feedback from October 25 to November 22.
The interactive map allows residents to provide their thoughts on specific areas of the estates, with themes including parking, dust, traffic and if they support a special charge scheme.
Throughout this year’s council meetings, many residents have complained during question time about the issue of dust from the roads in the estates.
A petition containing 87 signatures was also 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.
Residents say that resulted in increased dust levels.
Comments on the interactive map (as they appear) from the community have included:
* “Dust is significant exacerbated by speeding drivers. Obviously I chose to live on a dirt road, but I probably wasn’t aware of how much it would impact my home and the allergy consequences that require daily medication and reasonably frequent doctor visits. Would be interested in knowing whether this would be a council or resident funded project if road sealing went ahead. Thank you.”
* “Drainage from the property is an issue. Water collects in the road ditches which are consistently full. We installed additional drainage but it isn’t draining because the front ditch is full. Mosquitos are an issue. This area of the island appeals because it is not overly urbanised and has a coastal atmosphere. We don’t really want paved roads or extra street lighting. If we wanted that we would have bought in Cowes. Just the drainage issues, please!”
* “We own two standard size corner blocks adjacent to one another in Sunderland Bay. There are four street frontages. We do not have drainage, dust or any of the issues mentioned. Going by the estimate provided here, we would be up for $75,000 to seal the roads for two average blocks. We work, so not eligible for hardship or welfare; but we would be paying a road back with interest for the rest of our lives.”

Timeline
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
To provide feedback, visit basscoast.vic.gov.au/surfbeachroads to access the interactive map and engagement platform.