Caves Road list­ing hope

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - What do you think? Send your thoughts to ed­i­[email protected]­r­ by 12pm Wed­nes­day.

A pro­posed her­itage list­ing for the re­gion’s Caves Road tourist drive has taken the next step, with the WA Her­itage Coun­cil back­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

As re­ported pre­vi­ously by the Times, the Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River voted in Au­gust to in­sti­gate her­itage list­ing for Caves Road amid con­cerns about a planned Main Roads WA safety project.

Main Roads has formed two com­mu­nity ref­er­ence groups to look at widen­ing some road sec­tions between Yallingup and Rain­bow Cave Road in Mar­garet River, but many op­er­a­tors along the route op­pose a ma­jor over­haul.

Her­itage Coun­cil chair­woman Anne Arnold told the ABC last week in­ves­ti­ga­tion was needed to un­der­stand the his­tory and char­ac­ter of Caves Road.

“We have to de­ter­mine whether it jumps the State hur­dles,” she said.

“Many places are of lo­cal sig­nif­i­cance but don’t have that ex­tra (el­e­ment) that makes them of State sig­nif­i­cance which war­rants their en­try into the State reg­is­ter.”

Com­men­ta­tors, in­clud­ing for­mer South West MLC Barry House, have long said the road could be up­graded and pro­tected to ri­val Vic­to­ria’s Great Ocean Road as a tourist draw­card.

Main Roads has said pre­vi­ously it will lis­ten to com­mu­nity con­cerns and it is “im­per­a­tive” Caves Road’s aes­thet­ics and ap­peal are re­tained.

It has dis­missed that road widen­ing could be as great as 15m in some sec­tions.

The Her­itage Coun­cil as­sess­ment is slated for Fe­bru­ary.

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