Their street’s incomplete

Residents on the east side of Berwick's Buchanan Street are unhappy about the cost of kerb and channel works.

By Andrew Cantwell

There’s unrest in one of Berwick’s leafy northern streets over who should pay for desired kerb and channel works … with a majority of street residents saying it shouldn’t be them.

Buchanan Road is host to Arch Brown Reserve and the village’s cemetery, and in recognition of this increased use the west side of the road was upgraded with kerb and channel and a footpath by Casey City Council in 2013.

But the east side of the road was left high and dry, retaining its ‘rustic’ open channel drains.

A report to Casey Council last week said that residents on the east side had been consulted over a works program to upgrade kerb and channel – between Brisbane Street and Inglis Road – and complete the street.

The catch was that residents would have to fund the works themselves under a special charge scheme – costed at $339,000 – or about $3300 per property.

Of the 64 properties affected, 50 responded to the council, with most agreeing the works should proceed – but baulking at the charge. Some 48 per cent of all properties voted not to support the works, only 30 per cent were in favour. The rest failed to respond.

Based on the numbers opposed, Casey decided not to pursue the works program. The report to council recommending no action was passed without comment.

A handful of residents attended the meeting on Tuesday 4 June, and two had submitted questions about the council funding the works, given what they claimed was a ‘clear and proven’ risk to traffic along the road.

The council manager responsible for overseeing the road said in question time that crash statistics in the last five years showed no reported casualty accidents along this stretch of the road.

The upshot was that the council would not contribute to the costs.

“Bullsh*t,” was the response from one man in the gallery, as the residents conferred among themselves.

As the meeting progressed, mayor Amanda Stapledon had to make it clear their matter had been passed by the council and would not be discussed.

Those residents shortly after drifted out of the meeting by ones and twos.

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