12 April 2018

Anglesea link road through national park bypasses proper consultation and must be withdrawn

A plan to turn a four wheel drive track through a national park into a pseudo Anglesea bypass must be withdrawn.

I have met today with concerned Anglesea residents about Surf Coast Shire’s proposal to construct a link road around the perimeter of Anglesea and through a part of the Great Otway National Park.

Surf Coast Shire has specifically named O’Donohue Road, Harvey Street and the four wheel drive track, Messmate Track, as a potential designated access route between the Great Ocean Road and a redeveloped Alcoa site on Coalmine Road.

This route was proposed by Cr Margot Smith and seconded by Cr Libby Coker who is Labor’s Corangamite candidate.  This is another example of Labor’s candidate failing to listen to the community she represents.

Surf Coast Shire has identified this route in a submission it made to the Anglesea Futures Draft Land Use Plan and Alcoa Freehold Draft Concept Master Plan.

Residents are in no doubt that this road would become a bypass which has been put forward by council without any consultation, traffic management studies or environmental impact studies.

While I am open to an alternate road through Anglesea in order to take pressure off the Great Ocean Road, the design and route must be carefully considered particularly in relation to bushfire safety. VicRoads has warned that it would not be safe for motorists to be diverted deep into bushland in the event of a threatenened bushfire or during times of high bushfire risk.

Council’s proposed alignment also has the potential to cause significant environmental damage in the Great Otway National Patk and traffic chaos through a number of Anglesea’s quiet residential streets.

I have today committed to join with Anglesea residents to fight this proposal along with the plan to relocate Anglesea’s bike park.

In every town along the Great Ocean Road, it is incredibly important that the coastal character and heritage of our towns is maintained.

I call on the State Government and Surf Coast Shire Council to go back to withdraw this link road proposal and go back to the drawing board.

As a strong local voice for so many towns and communities across the Corangamite electorate, my approach in everything I do is to put ‘community first’ and politics second.

I believe that people power will prevail and that, together, this is a fight we can win.

12 April 2018