Road plan stalls

The road is flanked by greenery that’d have to be removed. Photo by Elli Petersen-Pik.

THE most contentious road proposal in Maylands’ recent history has stalled following unprecedented opposition.

A group of Maylands peninsula residents wanted a dual use path between Clarkson and Swanbank Roads upgraded to a through-road in preparation for the opening of the new Waterland, convincing councillor Catherine Ehrhardt to call for an investigation at Bayswater council’s last meeting.

Resident Steve Cloughley told the council Clarkson Road was already busy and Waterland would add to the problem; while there was also new housing going up, more cars towing large boats down to the nearby boat ramp, and police needing to leave the Maylands Police Complex at speed.

Mr Cloughley said the road could still have a cycle/pathway alongside it.

A petition of 42 residents supported the upgrade.

But the opposition was more numerous and vocal, not wanting the area’s greenery flattened for roads. The Friends of Berringa Park, Friends of Maylands Bricklands, and Friends of Maylands Lakes all opposed it, with the lakes group concerned a road would have a “devastating” impact on the already suffering Bungana, Brearley and Brickworks Lakes. 

Councillors’ inboxes were also flooded with an unprecedented number of emails, and deputations against the plan dominated the September 15 council briefing where it was previewed.

So many people attended that to comply with Covid distancing an overflow room had to be opened up to stream the meeting.

The opposition was so staunch Cr Ehrhardt requested the motion be withdrawn from the September 22 agenda, but was told it was too late. In the end her motion lapsed for want of a seconder.

Feasability

It would’ve cost about $5,000 to investigate the feasibility of the road, and more than $750,000 if council decided to build it.

Fellow south ward councillor Elli Petersen-Pik, who’d been against the road, also tabled two petitions to be further considered calling on the council to rezone the cycle/walking path from a ‘road reserve’ to ‘public open space’.

It’s listed as a road reserve as in the distant past there was an unsealed track there, and the rezoning would put a speedbump on any resurrected road plans. 

by DAVID BELL

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