Initial work on $1.4-million landslip stabilisation project at Separation Creek is at a standstill, with a resident placing a gate across a section of a road to block access to contractors.
But after more than a week of dispute and a “nasty confrontation” with the gates ripped out one day and then reinstalled that night, Colac Otway Shire Council has now issued a demand through its lawyers for the gates’ removal.
The council’s infrastructure and leisure services general manager Tony McGann confirmed yesterday that work on the council’s $1.4-million land-stabilisation project was delayed “while council’s lawyers considered and confirmed council’s position in regard to the gate placed across the road by a local resident”.
Stanway Drive resident Peter Jacobs is no stranger to confrontation with Colac Otway Shire Council and has fought for months to stop a landslip stabilisation and drainage project, based on his concerns about the environmental impact the work could have on the creek and surrounding habitat.
The council deferred the decision twice, with councillors initially not satisfied with the lack of permits for the project and then willing to wait to consider alternative, less invasive options.
But while the council moved a motion in April to wait until its May 23 meeting, a majority of councillors voted at a special meeting on May 2 to go ahead with the project because of “urgent” risk concerns that more landslips could occur without completion of the project.
The project was set to start last Monday but Mr Jacobs placed gates across Stanway Drive after discovering that a section of the road was on his property title.
“They were ready to go on Monday but I gated it on the Sunday,” Mr Jacobs said.
“I’ve been paying rates on it for nearly 20 years.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.