Yes to Yarram’s road sealing, no to Gormandale’s bike and pump track

David Braithwaite

THERE were mixed results for residents who submitted petitions to Wellington Shire Council.

Last week, councillors voted to begin the process to upgrade Commercial St, Yarram, but not to build a bike and pump track in Gormandale.

The request for the bike and pump track in Gormandale, with 196 virtual signatures, was declined as it did not fit council’s guidelines for such a facility.

Council’s youth play plan does not identify a need for a bike and pump track in Gormandale, but does for Yarram and Rosedale, where council officers are currently planning similar facilities.

According to an officer’s report presented to the councillors, council does not own land in Gormandale suitable for active recreational purposes.

A study of existing facilities in Gormandale in 2014 found what was available was appropriate for a small town.

Council, as part of Black Saturday bushfire recovery funding, built a play space, picnic area and public toilet at the Gormandale Recreation Reserve.

A pump track, subject to an appropriate site being found, would cost $120,000 to $140,000.

The petition presented to council stated the pump track would help to build community, provide a meeting place for children and adults from the area’s communities, and create a stopping point for people travelling between the Latrobe Valley and the south of Wellington Shire.

Council will begin work to declare a special charge scheme to pay for the sealing of Commercial St, Yarram, after receiving a petition signed by 13 residents.

The unsealed section of Commercial St extends for about 230 metres between Duke and James Sts.

The road is used by residents accessing their homes and school, as well as trucks delivering goods to the local supermarket, kicking up a lot of dust.

The project will cost about $350,000, with the owners of 18 properties in the area contributing a total of $108,000 – each paying a fixed fee of $6000 – and council the remainder.

Works are likely to include road sealing, improvements to drainage, kerb and channelling, footpaths and trees on the nature strip.

Councillor Garry Stephens said Commercial St residents had been interested in sealing the road for many years.

“I’m pretty sure there’s by far majority support for this proposal, certainly much more than the 60 per cent that’s council’s policy now before we can complete this street scheme,” he said.

“Given the amount of vehicle or traffic down Commercial St, particularly trucks that use it as a bit of a shortcut to get into the Commercial Lane, which is across James St, this will be a very positive outcome for all the abutting residents.”