Colac Otway Shire Council has deferred a $1.6-million drainage project to tackle landslip issues at Separation Creek for at least a month while officers address environmental and community concerns.
Councillors voted five-two in favour of deferring a decision on the major landslip contract until their April meeting to allow “full discussion with affected members of Stanway Drive and to understand the alternatives that are being proposed”.
Council officers must also seek written confirmation from the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning regarding the need for reports or permits to allow machinery in the creek bed.
Stanway Drive resident Peter Jacobs raised concerns about the environmental impact of the planned work, along with the financial impact on his accommodation business and general disruption for residents who were still recovering from fire, floods and landslips.
Mr Jacobs questioned why the council didn’t agree to other options that didn’t involve “an excavator in the creek bed”.
He said the creek was home to spotted and mountain galaxias, and rare stonefly lavae, with a platypus sighted about a year ago.
“I admit there are landslip problems, but time and time again I’ve said the problem is above me because the water comes from the top.
“With my design, and I’ve been told by experienced contractors it will work, there would be a cost saving of a million dollars and it won’t desecrate the creek.”
Council officers said geotechnical specialists said the $1.6-million plan presented to the council was the “best option for landslips and protecting the environment”.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.