Re: Anderson Street crossing.

A visual inspection of the works this morning (Wednesday, October 27) confirms the ‘refuge’ in the centre is not of a size that will allow the crossing to be used by equines.
Therefore the ‘footpath option’ unquestionably fails to comply with the GSRT Charter. If the Anderson Street crossing was a push button lights controlled crossing, that would be a marginal improvement. I have seen no mention of that option having been considered.

We can only assume the council intends to ban equines from using this section of the GSRT – again in absolute contradiction of the Charter, as I read it.
Assuming the Minister for Local Government did contact SGSC about this problem crossing, as was indicated by his office (Friday, October 22, 9.37am), it seems nothing was achieved by his communication.

What happened to the council promise to keep the community informed as the GSRT extensions were undertaken?

The way in which the administration rammed through the authority to get this construction done while we are in ‘Caretaker mode’ stinks to high heaven.

Instead of rushing ahead with such a poor option and the spending of $500,000-plus on it, why not wait for the new council to be able to look at the much safer underpass option (which has a ball park cost of $1 million – $2 million)? A small cost difference – seemingly already in the coffers – to achieve a much safer option.

Sure, the council is in panic mode to get a crossing done – but what happened between February 24, 2021, when the ‘footpath option’ (in its original form) was adopted and September 2021. The answer is nothing significant!

Note that at the same meeting they dealt with the 900-strong petition about this crossing but took no notice of that petition at all. You might say that is not many signatures, but council didn’t allow an electronic petition, which means it was an exceptionally good outcome in this COVID-19 world over a time window of only a few days.

No administration personnel involved in resolving this crossing problem can claim ‘they didn’t know’ – questions have been raised numerous times and were invariably swept under the carpet. And sure, the administration staff can legitimately claim they have to follow the direction set by the departing administrators. One can only hope they remember to adhere to directions when the new councillors are sworn in.

We, the SGSC community, got well and truly duded, in my opinion, by our ‘good governance’ educators, when addressing the motion now relied on. They did not mention, not even once, that for the previous two months they had been well informed about the modern method of constructing a suitable underpass.

They did not even bother to have it costed.

John McCombe, South Gippsland Action Group member, Leongatha.

Editor: Edited due to space.