Baldivis path report rejected in favour of child safety

FEAR of a child being injured while walking to school along Eighty Road in Baldivis prompted councillors to back a motion to build a temporary footpath.

Councillor Matthew Whitfield put forward a notice of motion for a footpath to be constructed along Eighty Road to allow students travelling to Baldivis Primary School a safer route.

The City officer’s report recommended council not support the construction of a permanent or temporary path.

The report reasoned that path networks linking to Baldivis Primary School were planned over the next 12 to 18 months, that any path built would need to be demolished in future and that a footpath had not been identified or included in the City’s five-year footpath program. No funds had been allocated within the 2015/16 budget.

However, councillors on the committee were unanimously swayed by the potential dangers to schoolchildren.

Instead, they backed Cr Whitfield’s alternate motion to support an option for loose road profilings and a thin asphalt surface being constructed temporarily at a cost of $50,000.

“We often get criticised for spending money willy-nilly and I would hate to see a kid hurt or killed for the sake of $50,000,” Cr Chris Elliott said in support of the alternate motion.

Cr Deb Hamblin said she would happily see a footpath project scheduled in her own ward be delayed so a path to the school could be built.

“Traffic is getting worse and worse (on Eighty Road) and at the expense ($50,000) I’d rather give up a path in Safety Bay Ward than this path not get built,” she said.

Councillors will vote on the motion at next Tuesday’s council meeting.