Win for Walkers – article from the Victor Harbor Times

Republished from the Victor Harbor Times

31 October 2007 – 8:29AM

Win for walkers

INMAN VALLEY – A protest by walkers has persuaded the District Council of Yankalilla not to privatise a public road at Inman Valley.

Although few walkers currently use the road, it will remain open because of its value as a potential future access point to popular walking areas such as the Heysen Trail and Myponga Conservation Park.

The road runs through RP and PM Lander’s property at Inman Valley.

At its latest meeting, council considered transferring the road to the Landers, so their land could be made into one allotment, rather than two sections split by the road.

The Landers had agreed to pay the council $12,430 for the land transfer, and have also had to cover costs for preparing a preliminary plan and schedule, advertising, survey, plan preparation, conveyancing, lodgement and transfer fees, and other charges in regard to the road.

Council commenced negotiations and legal work for the road’s closure following a decision made back in December last year.

In March, public submissions were called for regarding the closure, and two objections were received, from the Walking Federation of South Australia, and the Office for Recreation and Sport respectively.

Thelma Anderson from the Walking Federation’s Walking Access Committee spoke against the closure at the meeting, explaining the "virtues of walking" to the council, and urging council to consider the future recreational value of the road.

She encouraged the council to go what she said was the local government trend of privatising unmade public roads.

Cr John Hughes agreed, saying "it is important to keep these roads in public community ownership".

A division was called following a vote, with Crs John Hughes, John Sanderson, Mandy Aistrope and Janet Jones voting to leave the road open, while Crs Allan Barnes, Bruce Spilsbury and Andrew Gebhardt wanted to close and transfer it.

Chief executive Roger Sweetman said council has many hundreds of unmade roads, and suggested that information about which ones are of value would aid in future decision making.