‘Disappointing’ outcome for Officer retirement village

Entrance of Blue Gum Lifestyle Village on Brunt Road with median strip. Picture: ON FILE

By Corey Everitt

A “disappointing” outcome for residents of Officer’s Blue Gum Lifestyle Village, after the council ruled against allowing greater car access off the newly upgraded Brunt Road.

Last year, residents from the retirement village raised concerns about the new upgrades to Brunt/Rix Road, which created large median strips throughout the road including across the entrance to Blue Gum Village which restricted access to only left-in and left-out turns.

Cr Radford raised the issue calling for a report to assess changes to be made to allow right hand turns in and out of the village.

The motion was also made with the consideration that further upgrades being made along the road could also restrict access for other major properties.

In the latest council meeting on Monday 19 February, the report from the council officers was put before councillors with the recommendation to not construct an opening for right-hand turns through the newly constructed median.

“It is disappointing, but I can’t in good conscience go against this report,” Cr Radford said.

“I have read through it thoroughly, had a number of briefings, I really wanted to be sure that this report was suggesting the right thing and we are doing the right thing.

“I have to go with the report and say that it would adversely affect the safety of road users.”

The report argued that constructing a right-hand turn would cause a significant impact on the traffic flow of the road which is becoming increasingly busy, ultimately risking overall safety of drivers on the road.

Furthermore, such a change was deemed to not comply with the Officer Precinct Structure Plan which is the basis of the Brunt/Rix Road upgrade.

Many councillors in discussion labeled the outcome ‘disappointing’, with Cr Springfield raising concerns about the communication in the overall upgrade project.

“I’m disappointed that we haven’t been able to come up with a better outcome or solution for this site,” Cr Springfield said.

“I’m disappointed with the communications with these residents leading up to this.

“It was no malicious fault in council officers’ action or any of that, it’s still disappointing for these residents that weren’t made aware of it, we weren’t aware to say hey, guess what, you are not going to be able to use your road as you previously did and that we didn’t put in some slight mitigations perhaps.”

The motion was seconded by Cr Davies and was carried with all voting in favour except for Cr Springfield.