A TEMPORARY footpath will be built along Surf Drive in Secret Harbour after City of Rockingham councillors went against an officer’s recommendation and voted in favour of the path’s construction.
Councillor Justin Smith presented an alternate motion to the officer’s recommendation, which suggested council reject an pgrade to the temporary pedestrian access, including the installation of streetlights along Surf Drive.
Cr Smith’s motion called on council to approve the construction of a footpath and appropriate lighting, and for the minimum cost specifications to be added to the City’s 2016-17 business plan.
The land adjacent to Surf Drive has been subject to urbanised residential development for the past 12 years but sections that do not have pathways linkages are still undeveloped and any future land development will be required to upgrade the adjacent portion of road, including footpaths and streetlights.
A number of residents have brought the issue to the City’s attention and called for a footpath to be built to replace the current crushed gravel path, which Cr Smith called “unsafe”.
In August 2014, council voted against writing to developers to request they complete the footpath.
The 220m asphalt path will cost about $33,000 with each streetlight an additional $5000.
“This is another example of investment that is worthwhile, like the path we built near Baldivis Primary School (on Eighty Road),” Cr Smith said.
“A lot of people use the area and development is not going to be finished for a number of years so we have to get something done now before someone gets hurt.”
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of Cr Smith’s motion, with Cr Chris Elliott calling it “a good use of ratepayer unds” and Cr Matthew Whitfield a win for “people power”.
“A quarter of the people in Secret Harbour live in the areas off Surf Drive and they’ve told us time and again that the temporary path is not in good enough condition,” Cr Elliott said.
“I am absolutely committed to the ideal that we protect the community and therefore this is a good use of ratepayer funds.”
“This shows people power because councillors get told we don’t care, but we do care and approving a temporary footpath shows we do,” Cr Whitfield said.