Terrier titbits: 30kph zones, old trees and an election

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Life in the slow lane: 30kph zones are being introduced around the CBD.

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

Three interesting things and a question:

Titibit #1: If you were wondering why a series of red bars have suddenly started popping up on intersections around the CBD, here’s the answer: the introduction of a 30kph speed limit.

The new, slower speed limit was one of the many things bundled into the now $18 million upgrade of Liebig St but, as far as I can see, it hasn’t been mentioned or discussed widely since it was first raised as an idea for Liebig St in 2014.

From what I have found, Warrnambool is the only place in Victoria outside certain parts of Melbourne to introduce a 30kph zone and the idea, of course, is to slow the traffic down to make life safer for pedestrians. 

 

There is nothing wrong with that concept, but given the amount of traffic controls now in place in Liebig St – with more zebra crossings, roundabouts and speed humps than you can count – is it really necessary?

And is it necessary to extend it from Liebig St to other parts of the CBD where the limit is 50kph?

I haven’t seen any statistics on the number of pedestrian injuries around Kepler St/Raglan Pde, for example, or Banyan/Timor St, which are just two of the intersections now getting the red stripe treatment.

Driving at 30kph really is snail’s pace – it’s 10kph slower than for school zones – and I can’t see people sticking to it outside of the main street where the speed is already restricted by design.

The annual losses on Flagstaff Hill are now reaching an eye-watering range of more than $750,000.

Titbit #2: The draft Warrnambool City Council budget/s and its submission to the Essential Services Commission to ask for a 4.5% rate rise contains so many gems, I am not sure where to start, but I will list a few during this week, starting from today.

First, according to the ESC submission, Flagstaff Hill – my old hobby horse – and the Visitor Centre ran at a loss of $1.79 million in 2016-17 and $859,061 last financial year.

 

It is expected to run at a loss of around $750,000 each year for the next three years, which is $100k more than anticipated and getting close to double the losses of around 10 years ago.

This is eye watering.

By the way, it is worth mentioning that Colac Shire Council is raising its rates by a mere .5% this year. They were thinking of going for 2%, the same as last year, but that was knocked back by a majority of councillors. It is also worth mentioning, again, that out of 79 councils in Victoria, only two are applying to break the rate cap and we are one of them.

Despite a recommendation they be saved, two 115-year old Moreton Bay figs on Raglan Pde are still not safe from the axe.

Titbit #3: Enormous public pressure and several thousand signatures on a petition saw council staff recommend recently that the two 115-year-old Moreton Bay figs at the corner of Banyan St and Raglan Parade be saved.

Yay! Sanity prevails.

But wait…

No, they are not saved, yet, because the councillors deferred making a decision so they could – once again with feeling – look at the whole Banyan St streetscape and – once again – try to find out how much it would cost to plant coastal banksias down the southern end because Infrastructure head Scott Cavanagh had no real idea.

Good grief, the people of southern Banyan St have been waiting for five years to get this sorted. Five years.

Worryingly, as part of the debate Cr David Owen – he who loves trees – described the two Moreton Bay figs as “freaks” because of their bad pruning and said should be removed.

 

Why, as has been said elsewhere, do councillors ignore most petitions unless they give them the answer they wanted in the first place?

And a question….

Speaking of petitions, how ironic that the WCC is part of a petition for better roads in our area.

Judging by the years of neglect in road funding so far, the council might find its own petition efforts are also ignored.

Unless…unless…we will actually make Wannon a marginal seat at the federal election on May 18.

Are we brave enough?

Over to you….

If you would like to see The Terrier keep digging up, sniffing out and chewing on local issues, please consider throwing something in the tip jar.

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6 thoughts on “Terrier titbits: 30kph zones, old trees and an election”

  1. Yes Minister comes to mind. I love that series. Now I actually know the actors.

  2. Melbourne City Council are proposing a 30km limit. I believe the state government are opposing it for obvious reasons. (Fact check required). Many Liebig street traders continue to suffer because of the anti-business sentiment of the council. Not one public servant in that organisation has to risk anything – not money, time, reputation, etc. They think they can make up ideas and implement without consequences. I can tell you now things are starting to bite. 30km will be the death knell for the cbd. We must resist the proposed restriction. 40km makes sense with the exception of Liebig street. I want to know what consultation with business has occurred. When was the last time you seen a cyclist ride up Liebig street. I also believe the council want to restrict roller blades and the like in the cbd. Wheeled toys they call them. So when I go for a walk at night with my young family around the cbd. (because that’s what we do at times) I soon will not be able to. So here we have a policies in conflict. Reduce speed to make it safer. Yet ban young kids riding on push bikes outside of business hours. Someone please do something. I think half the problem is the senior management of the organization are FIFO that have no connection to the community and are only looking at wcc as a stepping stone to something more grandeur (do you own research).

  3. It’s only a matter of time and Leibig Street will become a pedestrian mall. What an appalling waste of ratepayers money and what an appalling outcome it’s been for the retailer’s.
    Our Morton Bay figs, do they detract from the landscape? Are they diseased? Should their removal / relocation be a priority for Council? Is Council giving ratepaters value for money?
    We live in the most beautiful part of Australia but our governments treat us like second rate citizens, make us matter and vote Independent at the Federal Election.

  4. The only time I visit Liebig Street now is when I need to personally visit the Bank. I stay away from Liebig Street in my car and solely use Parkers Car Park. Liebig Street is now a trap for fines. Go over 30kph and risk being booked by plain clothes Police in unmarked vehicles. Stay too long in off-street parking and risk a fine. Stay too long in metered spaces and risk a parking fine. Why risk a fine. It is just not worth it. East Warrnambool is the new ‘CBD’ for personal shopping and the area continues to break records in attracting people. I wonder why?

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