Council proceeds with pathway

SHOALHAVEN City Council voted on Tuesday night to push ahead with its proposed Round The Bay Walk, committing itself to the 500-metre shared pathway at the rear of homes adjacent to Orion Beach at Vincentia that will cost $1.2 million.

But any movement on the project has been put on hold until at least the next council meeting in April after a rescission motion from Crs Andrew Guile, Greg Watson and Mark Kitchener.

Council committed itself to building the 2.5-metre wide shared pathway between Minerva Road and Plantation Point Parade in two stages, but concurrently across two financial years.

Some locals believe the track should go further away from the rear of homes and closer to the beach, or be redirected to the cycleway along the existing footpath in Elizabeth Drive.

“Council says it wants to build the pathway in two stages concurrently but it is still clear stage one will be first and that will be a pathway to nowhere,” Cr Guile said.

“And where is the full funding coming from?”

Cr Guile said the federal government has offered $450,000 to the project, meaning council will have to fund the remainder of the estimated $1.2 million project.

“So where is that extra money going to come from?” Cr Guile said.

“Council’s motion indicates it guarantees to fund the construction, but that will be at the cost of a reduction in other spending for capital projects,” he said.

“The question is what other areas will miss out?”

Council’s director of Corporate and Community Services Craig Milburn said preliminary environmental studies had been undertaken for the second stage of the project.

“We have had an initial look at the area but until council resolves the alignment of the actual route we can’t do a full review of environmental factors,” he said.

“And we have to wait for council’s decision and the outcome of the rescission motion before we do that.” 

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