Which road will get seal of approval?

The need for proper council consideration in regard to the prioritisation of roads has been highlighted at Adelaide Plains Council’s December and January general meetings, with various roads brought to the chamber’s attention recently and the subsequent decision-making process questioned, ultimately seeing a motion to allocate $102,000 to upgrade Webb Beach Road from October last year, rescinded.

At the December meeting a petition to seal Glover Road in Two Wells, signed by 22 residents, was received by council for consideration, causing Port Parham resident, Alvin Jenkin to address councillors about the need to treat all requests of this nature equally.

“I presented a petition with 465 signatures to council for the sealing of the Esplanade at Port Parham in 2014,” Mr Jenkin said during open forum at January’s meeting, saying he has still not received a response to his request.

“I have no query on the need or otherwise for sealing Glover Road, but I am concerned that requests of this nature are treated with equal due diligence.

“I urge that consideration be given in the forthcoming budget round to sealing the Esplanades at Port Parham and Thompsons Beach.”

Mr Jenkin also addressed a motion on the agenda for that evening to rescind a previous motion to upgrade Webb Beach Road.

“I urge that councillors not accept the motion to rescind,” he stated, citing safety concerns for the community.

APC moved a motion to borrow $102,000 to upgrade Webb Beach Road in October last year after Webb Beach resident, Andrew Cross, presented evidence of the deteriorating condition of the road, believing it dangerous, with vehicles having lost control at slow speeds.

Councillor Margherita Panella, concerned with council having to borrow funds to complete the upgrade, did not support the motion and brought her concerns to council’s attention again last month with a motion to rescind the October decision.

“This is very important, it’s not about not doing it, it’s about making the right decisions,” Cr Panella said.

“We are currently in the process of having a Webb Beach Community Emergency Management Plan completed.

“With that there will be other recommendations, design structures, in terms of providing emergency access for Webb Beach. I believe it may cost more.  So we should be waiting for that report.”

Cr John Lush suggested putting more rigour into the decision-making process when it came to roads.

“I think we actually need a cost benefit analysis on what it’s going to cost and how many people are going to be affected and whether it has an economic impact on individuals,” he said.

“I was really horrified last year when we cut out road funding from the top down and didn’t look at the various methods of each road.”

The rescind motion regarding Webb Beach Road was laid on the table due to the December meeting running over time, whereby it was favourably carried at the January 29 meeting by a majority of councillors.

Cr Panella then moved a motion to have staff provide a report to council regarding the access upgrade from Port Parham Road to the Webb Beach Boat Ramp.

The report will include the final version of the Webb Beach Community Emergency Management Plan with recommendations on the physical infrastructure and design, the potential for council to access government disaster funding, and include a detailed costing, engineers report, information on the appropriate materials and road base that will be used and recommendations if the project can be completed in stages to assist with budget constraints.

The motion also indicated the road upgrade is to be considered as a priority in the 2019/2020 budget.

This was also favourably carried by councillors who will now await the findings of the report before making a decision on the final aspects of the upgrade.

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