Final approval for Lillico Rd closure
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.”
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.