IT may not look like it at first glance, but this new stretch of footpath on Lake Rd is more than worthy of celebration.
A pet project of Kyabram Deakin Residents Ratepayers and Development Group (KDRRADG), they have pushed for its completion to Campaspe Shire Council since 2017.
And now it’s over, the group call it its ‘Path to Victory’.
Stretching from outside Kyabram Community and Learning Centre to Kyabram Fauna Park, the path now provides a much safer option for pedestrians.
“We’re quite pleased to see that this project has come to fruition,” KDRRADG member Nick Mionis said.
“It’s a direct access link from the city centre to the Fauna Park. All of the residents and community groups along here have full access and it minimises the safety risks.”
According to KDRRADG, a petition pushing for the path to be installed was raised at a Campaspe Shire monthly meeting in June 2015.
The group said the project was approved but never flagged in the projected budget.
KDRRADG then took up the fight in 2017 and brought it to the shire’s attention every year since.
The path finally went ahead in March 2020.
Campaspe Shire Council general manager infrastructure Jason Deller said the footpath was not included in the project approved in 2015.
“As part of the mid-year budget review in March 2020, council allocated identified savings to a number of initiatives across Campaspe, one of which was additional works on the missing links footpath program,” he said.
“The new section of footpath in Lake Rd was delivered as part of the Missing Links Footpath Program, it was not part of the project approved in 2015.”
Mr Mionis said the group only found out the path was approved when it saw contractors working on it.
“There was no direct communication from the shire, so that was a bit poor to us as a community group,” he said.
“It’s an old part of town, and it’s like they’re finally filling in a gap that should have been done a long time ago.
“Never give up, keep persevering even when you think you are just going around and around in circles.”
Resident Richie Baertschiger, who has needed a motorised scooter for the past four years, said the new path was a godsend.
“Before the footpath was done, to go into town I had to cross to the other side of Lake Rd because I can’t my scooter on the grass due to the bindi-eyes,” he said.
“With this done, I can just come out the front door and straight into town.
“It’s only when it really affects you when you appreciate that it has been done.”
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