Track closure issues raised at council meeting

A report on the temporary, 28-day closure was distributed shortly before the briefing on Tuesday night.

Mayor Tracey Roberts adjourned the briefing for 15 minutes so councillors could read it before hearing from council staff.

City infrastructure director Dennis Blair said he inspected the track on March 19 and made the decision under ‘delegated authority’ to close it last week.

Mr Blair said the track resulted from an agreement between the City and landowners to create an easement, allowing access to parking at Dewars Beach.

‘In the agreement, it was always planned that this would be a temporary arrangement (until there was a formal road built to Dewars Beach),’ he said.

‘At the time, it was considered that we could keep it safe (but) if it got to a point that that was not manageable, we would have to consider closing it down.’

Mr Blair said when assessing the safety risk, he had to consider the ‘lowest common denominator’ of people four-wheel-driving for the first time, rather than the experienced drivers who used flags and sometimes spotters.

‘From a public liability and safety risk, I made that decision to close it down,’ he said.

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