THE volunteer committee of management of theHeywood Sports Park has had to pay more than $2000 to gain a permit to have a bore drilled to supply water at the recreational site. Last Thursday, Portland Water Supply Engineers successfully drilled for water at the sports park, meaning that the numerous groups that use the park — including the motocross club, pony club and archery club — will in future have a permanent supply of water. Secretary/treasurer of the committee of management, Betty Gee, said committee members had been told to expect that the cost of the permit would be quite expensive. “But we all still got a bit of a shock when we were told by Southern Rural Water the permit cost was $2009. That’s very expensive considering it’s before the work had even started … I’m not really sure how they justify that cost. “But in the end, if we wanted the water, we had to pay it. They told us the reason it was so expensive was because it is a commercial site, so I suppose that’s just how it is,” she told the Portland Observer. Mrs Gee said what made going through with the project financially possible was the generosity of Portland Water Supply Engineers, who offered to create the bore basically for free, charging only the cost of the materials. Read more in Monday’sPortland Observer.
THERE is a growing air of confidence that Sea View House will remain a supported residential service when Portland District Health relinquishes control of the facility late next month. Earlier this month, the community-based Friends of Sea View House group issued an SOS, saying it was in urgent need of financial support to meet the $300,000 start-up capital requirement placed on it by the PDH board of management to operate the facility. Friends’ steering committee chairwoman Myra Bourke said yesterday she believed the group was only $25,000 short of the $300,000 target. She said the figure included donations already received and other promised donations not yet paid by members of the community. “What we need is for those generous members of the community who have made verbal pledges to come good with the donations which will be placed in a trust account … it is our belief and hope at this stage that we will never have to draw on the account,” she said. A recent meeting between steering committee representatives Mrs Bourke and Peter Walsh and two PDH board members, Ray Gilby and Anita Rank, in a bid to reduce the $300,000 figure, failed to gain support from the PDH board. Read more in Monday’sPortland Observer.
ALLESTREE residents say they’re living across the road from a death-trap after rocks were added to the Fergusons Road sea-wall. Sections of the wall were topped up at the direction of the Glenelg Shire Council three weeks ago, resulting in large rocks being left balancing precariously at the top of the wall. Fergusons Rd resident Rob Murley said he had contacted the council requesting signs be put in place to warn people of the large loose rocks, or that the rocks be removed. The council offices closed on December 21, and remain closed until January 2, and Mr Murley is still waiting on a reply. In the meantime, he’s created his own signs on the rocks to warn passing tourists and children who may walk over the rocks. Read more in Monday’s Portland Observer.
VICROADS has rejected calls for a 50km/h speed limit to be introduced on thePrinces Hwy within the Heywood business district. The existing 60km/h speed limit will be retained. The rejection of the application was met with disappointment on Friday by two key parties involved in the community campaign for a 50km/h zone: Heywood resident Dallas Benbow and Promoting Heywood and District Committtee president Tom Ingram. Both men said VicRoads had failed to understand the issue was not about speeding motorists or compliance. Mr Benbow said it was about safety … “60km/h is too high, if you lower the speed by 10km/h, you give people a little more reaction time”. Both men said a State Government review into speed limits, top be held early next year, appeared to be the only chance for change. The decision to retain the existing speed limit was made by VicRoads regional director William Tieppo following the finalisation of an independent road safety audit in the town earlier this year. Read more in Monday’s Portland Observer.
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