Coongulla street scheme gets nod

David Braithwaite

UNSEALED streets in the eastern area of Coongulla are set to be upgraded, with Wellington Shire Council intending to declare a special charge scheme.

Council last week voted to advertise its intention to declare the $600,000 scheme during its April 20, 2021, meeting.

The owners of the 92 properties in the area will contribute a total of $331,000, with council paying the remainder from its share of federal government Roads to Recovery funding.

A committee of three councillors will consider any objections received.

All streets in the town are unsealed, with the exception of Ryans Rd, the main access road.

With property owners concerned about dust, rutting and level of maintenance of the gravel roads, council officers investigated the possibility of a special charge scheme.

Two areas of the town were identified as having a higher level of support for the street scheme proposal, so a proposal for the construction and sealing of streets was prepared for these two areas of the Coongulla township.

While a survey of property owners showed the majority in the eastern and central areas supported the scheme, only those in the eastern area (69 per cent) passed the 60 per cent needed to advance the issue.

The streets to be constructed will be Ben Cruachan Parade, Tamboritha Terrace, Skene Court, and Blores and Narrobuk Sts.

Councillor Malcolm Hole said the intention to declare the special charge scheme was a “great motion for Coongulla”.

“For many years the people of Coongulla who are permanents, as opposed to those who are tourists, were of different ideas of having the road sealed and kerbing and channelling put in to break down the dust.

“To the credit of our officers, they conducted a public meeting, which was a very well-attended public meeting.

“The consensus at that meeting was overwhelmingly in favour of pursuing the next stage of doing costings, and that was followed up in writing, requesting a response from the people involved.

“Part of the group decided they didn’t want to be a party to the improvements, but the rest of the Coongulla people voted in favour – not overwhelmingly in favour, but enough to enable this to proceed.

“It will do wonders for Coongulla, it will do wonders for the people, and I’m sure once it’s done, those who decided not to do it will regret it.”

Meanwhile, council has awarded contracts for road projects.

Bairnsdale Road Services was the successful tender for the Gormandale-Stradbroke Rd safety works.

Gormandale-Stradbroke Rd was identified under the federal Blackspot Program as a high crash location, with one fatality and two other injury crashes along a 10 kilometre stretch between Willung Rd and the Hyland Highway.

Upgrade works will include warning signs, line marking, guide posts and guardrails at hazardous locations.

Replacement of Ingles Bridge at Devon North will be undertaken by Jarvis Norwood Construction, Swan Reach.

The works are part of a council program to replace ageing timber bridges with concrete structures, which have an estimated life span of 100 years.