Fi­nal ap­proval for Lil­lico Rd clo­sure

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - COUNCIL NEWS -

A last-ditch at­tempt by res­i­dents has failed to per­suade Baw Baw Shire not to close a sec­tion of Lil­lico Rd, War­ragul.

The con­tro­ver­sial is­sue, which has been on the coun­cil ta­ble al­most all of this year, was pre­sented to coun­cil last week for a fi­nal de­ci­sion.

De­spite sub­mis­sions by a num­ber of res­i­dents, coun­cil agreed to pro­ceed with clos­ing a sec­tion of Lil­lico Rd. The clo­sure will not be im­ple­mented un­til a new road link­ing the new es­tate to Brandy Creek Rd/Dol­lar­burn Rd is de­vel­oped.

An al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tion to clos­ing the sec­tion of road was pre­sented to coun­cil last month.

Coun­cil re­ceived 10 sub­mis­sions on the pro­posal and a num­ber of sub­mit­ters pre­sented their cases to coun­cil at its Oc­to­ber 10 meet­ing.

Former War­ragul Shire en­gi­neer Gerry Prest­ney out­lined an op­tion that he said would elim­i­nate at least three prob­lems for coun­cil.

Mr Prest­ney told coun­cil his op­tion would give pri­or­ity to the ma­jor­ity of ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling to and from War­ragul.

In Au­gust, coun­cil re­solved to be­gin the process to for­mally close the road by ad­ver­tis­ing its in­ten­tion to close the sec­tion of road.

Of­fi­cers rec­om­mended that a 200-me­tre sec­tion of Lil­lico Rd be closed, forc­ing mo­torists through a new res­i­den­tial es­tate and then back onto Lil­lico Rd. The sec­tion to be closed will be be­tween Eve Rd and en­try to the new 369 lot res­i­den­tial es­tate.

The re­port to coun­cil said Mr Prest­ney’s sub­mis­sion noted sev­eral al­ter­na­tive views to coun­cil’s engi­neers.

“This sub­mis­sion pro­posed to keep the cur­rent Lil­lico Road align­ment open to through traf­fic and was pre­sented as a more di­rect route into War­ragul.

An­other sub­mis­sion, from Park Lea devel­op­ments who has pur­chased 74 Lil­lico Rd, had no in prin­ci­ple ob­jec­tion to the di­ver­sion of traf­fic through the new road align­ment but did not sup­port the full clo­sure of the iden­ti­fied sec­tion.

“Whilst the al­ter­na­tive de­signs all have merit, the new con­nec­tor road from Dol­lar­burn Rd to the Eve Rd/Lil­lico Rd in­ter­sec­tion as iden­ti­fied in the Precinct Struc­ture Plan is in­tended to be­come the new col­lec­tor road for the north­ern part of the War­ragul town­ship.

“In this con­text the clo­sure of the iden­ti­fied sec­tion of Lil­lico Road is the most prac­ti­cal out­come,” of­fi­cers said.

Sub­mis­sions to coun­cil re­lated to the his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of Lil­lico Rd; safety of the Eve Rd in­ter­sec­tion; noise and pol­lu­tion from heavy ve­hi­cles; traf­fic flow; ac­cess for trucks; con­fu­sion and in­con­ve­nience.

The de­ci­sion was not unan­i­mous by coun­cil. Crs Danny Goss, Mikaela Power and Jes­sica O’Don­nell all op­posed the road clo­sure.

Cr Joe Gauci moved coun­cil pro­ceed with the clo­sure. He said it had been a lengthy and messy process but he was con­fi­dent coun­cil had the right in­for­ma­tion.

He said the pro­posal was cater­ing for War­ragul’s de­vel­op­ment and road net­work five, 10 or even 15 years from now when “that whole farm­ing area will be res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment.”

Cr Gauci said the War­ragul precinct struc­ture plan looked at traf­fic in the area and it was the first pocket of res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in that area of the psp. “If you look at the whole psp, it makes sense.”

Cr Michael Leaney said the “ge­nie is out of the bot­tle.”

“Water­ford Rise only a few years ago was a rolling hill with cows. That is the change that is hap­pen­ing.

“The farm op­po­site this area (in Lil­lico Rd) has been sold and will have an es­tate put on it,” he said.

Cr Leaney agreed clos­ing the road was not the per­fect so­lu­tion but it was the right so­lu­tion mov­ing for­ward.

Cr Goss said Mr Prest­ney’s pro­posal was a vi­able and sen­si­ble al­ter­na­tive that “made me think with a lit­tle more work we could’ve al­le­vi­ated some of the is­sues.”

“In hind­sight if we put more thought into it the out­come could’ve been dif­fer­ent. I would like to keep the road open and would like to work with the res­i­dents,” he said.

Cr Jes­sica O’Don­nell said she had con­cerns about the safety of the Eve Rd in­ter­sec­tion. “Noth­ing has come for­ward to elim­i­nate my con­cerns so I can’t sup­port the clo­sure.”

Leaney com­plains

Wal­halla busi­ness owner and Baw Baw Shire coun­cil­lor Michael Leaney last week fired off a com­plaint to the Vic­to­rian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion com­plain­ing the east­ern end of Nar­ra­can elec­torate has been “for­got­ten again”.

Sub­ject of his com­plaint was an ad­ver­tise­ment placed by the VEC in The Gazette list­ing lo­ca­tions of polling booths for last Sat­ur­day’s State elec­tion.

The ad­ver­tise­ment did not list the booths at Raw­son and Er­ica or three in Moe that were within Nar­ra­can.

It did not state it re­ferred specif­i­cally to Nar­ra­can but did list booths on the western ex­trem­ity of the elec­torate such as Nar Nar Goon.

The VECs me­dia of­fice said it was gen­er­ally the case that booth lo­ca­tions were ad­ver­tised in an area re­garded as res­i­dents’ main “com­mu­ni­ties of in­ter­est”.

In the case of Raw­son, Er­ica and Moe that could be the La­trobe Val­ley area.

Most of the La­trobe Val­ley is within the Mor­well elec­torate.

The me­dia of­fice also pointed out that all polling booths had been listed for some weeks on the VEC web­site and that all house­holds would have re­ceived an elec­tion guide that in­cluded lo­ca­tions where peo­ple could vote.

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