South­ern river trail hangs on coun­cil call

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

Fund­ing for the de­layed and muchde­bated win­ter di­ver­sion project is in limbo.

In a state­ment this week, Friends of the Cape-to-Cape Track’s Kevin Lange and Tom Tuf­fin con­firmed grant fund­ing for the com­ple­tion of the south­ern river trail was “now some­what vague”.

“Al­though a small grant has been re­lin­quished, the re­cent ar­ti­cle show­ing (a) woman’s life in dan­ger while she was at­tempt­ing to cross the river has rekin­dled out­side in­ter­est in com­plet­ing the project,” they said.

“It is likely that the fund­ing body is now await­ing the coun­cil de­ci­sion with con­sid­er­able in­ter­est.”

The project was stalled last year amid en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns for a patch of melaleu­cas, with lo­cal con­ser­va­tion­ists and neigh­bours speak­ing against the project.

A $200,000 board­walk was pro­posed for the fi­nal stretch, but en­vi­ron­men­tal and Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage con­sul­ta­tion was un­fin­ished.

The Friends pe­ti­tioned coun­cil­lors via email to sup­port fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the project.

“We are re­ceiv­ing a con­sid­er­able amount of sup­port from the com­mu­nity and can only hope that (the) coun­cil will re­alise the ben­e­fits of com­plet­ing this trail, and will also re­alise the waste of ratepay­ers’ money that has al­ready been spent, if they do not do so,” Mr Lange and Mr Tuf­fin said.

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