Council has big plans in the works

Council has big plans in the works

The Mount Gambier City Council has endorsed its Shared Path Master Plan, a framework highlighting future improvements to the quality, connectivity and safety of shared paths throughout the city.

The master plan provides a roadmap for the development of shared paths and outlines prioritised actions to create a safer, more connected and inclusive community for all residents.

City Infrastructure general manager Barbara Cernovskis said the plan was endorsed at council’s April meeting.

“The master plan will be used to guide the roll out of active transport infrastructure across Mount Gambier,” she said.

“It not only considers shared paths, but also footpaths and dedicated cycling paths for use by a variety of active transport users such as pedestrians, cyclists, people with mobility restrictions and scooters.”

Ms Cernovskis said council sought input from residents, stakeholder groups and visitors to inform the Shared Path Master Plan to identify the community’s current and future needs.

“Some of the feedback we received during two rounds of community consultation focused on the consideration of additional shared pathways in residential areas, including Wireless Road East, Kennedy Avenue and Attamurra Road,” she said.

“More than 95% of the people who provided feedback on the draft masterplan were in support of the document.

“We have considered all the feedback provided and incorporated the suggestions into the final version.”

Ms Cernovskis said the action plan within the master plan outlined a phased priority list for implementation during the short term (the next three years), medium term (three to five years) and long term (five to 10 years and beyond).

“Some of the short term priorities identified include implementing a learn to ride facility, the consideration of speed reductions, identifying and adopting a functional cycling and walking hierarchy, the prioritisation of identified primary and secondary intersections with a focus on cycling safety improvements and investigation of pedestrian improvements at high demand and high traffic volume locations,” she 

Ms Cernovskis said the Shared Path Master Plan was developed in conjunction with Tonkin Engineering and will inform the infrastructure design methodology within council’s Asset Management Plans.

“These plans sequence the delivery of the initiatives through forward works programs that can be delivered within Council’s resourcing capacity,” she said.

Council’s chief executive Sarah Philpott said council had also endorsed a priority schedule for the development of master plans for four key recreation and sporting sites throughout the city.

“Council’s Sport, Recreation and Open Space Strategy (SROSS) recommended that master plans be developed for Vansittart Park, Olympic Park and Hastings Cunningham Reserve in conjunction with users and stakeholders.
 Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul is also a priority site due to its importance to our community and visitors,” she said.

“This work will provide a coordinated and strategic approach to the provision of infrastructure and facilities in these important spaces to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the community in the future.”

Ms Philpott said council determined the priority order for the master plans would be to start with Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul, followed by Vansittart Park, Olympic Park and finally Hastings Cunningham Reserve.

“This was a difficult decision for council as they are all important sites in our city,” she said.

“However, we need to prioritise this work according to the areas that require the most immediate attention.

“In addition, a regenerative maintenance program will be devised for Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul.

“The high volume of visitation at Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul is taking its toll, therefore a program which identifies the resourcing and budget requirements to mitigate the degenerative impact of usage on this significant natural asset will be presented to council by October 2024.

“Council will begin working on the master plans in accordance with the endorsed schedule this financial year.

“We will review any capacity we might have to work on plans in tandem as part of the budget process.”

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