Regarding Marine Drive Tea Gardens, Council is upgrading Marine Drive and some people are asking what is happening.
Is it part of the beautification program for the waterfront?
Will there be a loss of parking?
What is actually happening?
There are at least 4 issues in play here.
Upgrade of the road:
The upgrade of the road would occur irrespective of being one way or two and is required for various reasons such as drainage and pavement life etc.
It has nothing to do with amenity or traffic flow and parking.
There is always tension between amenity and parking.
It is a matter of striking the right balance or having no parking at all.
There is minimal change to overall parking along the street due to the formalisation of the kerb and gutter, and some places may change opposite particular businesses.
One way traffic:
One way traffic is supported by council and particularly Cr McCaskie and me.
Unfortunately a decision based on input by the police and others has meant that one way is not feasible at this time.
This was a council decision and one, despite my preference, we supported after listening to the advice of the police and other experts.
I support the decision to not have one way at this time.
However, it is definitely not off my radar.
Furthermore, none of the works being implemented nor have been implemented preclude one way in the future.
It is council’s intention to have Marine Drive one way as soon as it is feasible to do so.
The coral trees are a menace, noxious and not appropriate to the area and council is at risk of being sued should someone fall ill.
Council wanted to get rid of them and replace them with more suitable species for the waterfront.
There was some public outcry to keep them.
So council acquiesced and allowed them to stay.
It was always known that they have a limited life and that the roots of some will be impacted by the road upgrade.
Council will be spending money on ensuring they are retained but it is poor economics and public safety to keep them.
I, for one, wish to see them go and be replaced with more appropriate mature trees.
I will be asking council to reconsider keeping them.
The road upgrade has not been at the loss of waterfront amenity but is an enhancement and will, when finished, encourage greater use of the riverfront.
There is a separate waterfront beautification plan in place that is slowly being implemented as funds become available.
Marine Drive is a work in progress and one day hopefully sooner than later it will be one way and be the icon of the town.
Regarding Winda Woppa…
During the recent storms and the required emergency works, the foredune between the Boulevarde and the beach was used to protect Winda Woppa.
Whilst the dune needed to go for emergency reasons it was not done as vandalism but a very measured and approved response.
If the government agencies had met the timetable as they promised a permanent solution would have been in place and the dune still there.
There was a bigger picture and issue in play than the removal of an aeolian foredune most of which was manmade.
If another storm hits before the solution is in place we are in trouble as there is no substantial sand source to draw upon.
Deputy Mayor, Cr Len Roberts
Great Lakes Council