Council receives road, bike track petitions

David Braithwaite

WELLINGTON Shire Council has received petitions requesting a bike track at Gormandale, and the sealing of a street in Yarram.

After formally receiving the petitions during last Tuesday’s council meeting, officers will look at the requests before responding during one of the next two council meetings.

An online petition for a pump track and bike path in Gormandale collected 196 virtual signatures.

Head petitioner and Willung South resident Claire Issell said a pump track would provide a meeting place for children and adults from the surrounding communities, and help reduce the isolation people faced in rural areas.

“As a mother of two young boys and a local physiotherapist living in Willung South, I have found there to be a lack of outdoor infrastructure in the area,” she wrote.

“There is a large number of children living in Gormandale and surrounding towns and therefore have limited access to facilities, with most living on farms with no access to footpaths and roads either being highway, hilly or dangerous due to log trucks.

“This makes it very challenging terrain for new and young bike riders, and also limits children with the use of scooters and skateboards.

“There is currently only a small playground in Gormandale, otherwise most families have to travel to Yarram, Port Albert, Rosedale or Traralgon to access footpaths and decent playgrounds.

“These families are spending copious time in the car for school, work and essential services, so reducing this time for exercise and leisure would have a positive effect on the community and environment.

“A pump track would be a fabulous addition to the town as it would allow for bike riders, scooters and skateboarders.”

Ms Issell said the facility would also help tourism, with Gormandale seen as a gateway to the south of Wellington Shire from the Latrobe Valley.

Thirteen signatories of another petition are asking for Commercial St, Yarram, to be sealed because residents, as the accompanying letter stated, “were not able to open the windows and doors to the homes or businesses due to constant dust being created by the passing vehicles and wind”.

Commercial St is one of the final streets in Yarram yet to be sealed, and is regularly used because of its location in the middle of town.

Commercial St is parallel to the town’s main thoroughfare, with daily traffic from the local school, Woolworths trucks and customers, and residents. Six to 10 Woolworths trucks travel along Commercial St every day to avoid turning left into Commercial Lane.

It is also used as a shortcut by pedestrians and bike riders.