Beach bus on way


Beach bus on way

All go: Parks Victoria officers Gerard Delaney and Roger Fenwick discuss the bus with Phil Stone of South Gippsland Shire Council.

A NEW bus service will be trialled at Venus Bay this summer to reduce parking congestion at the bay’s popular beaches.

The service will start between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and then run every weekend in January until Australia Day.

The Venus Bay Community Centre will operate the service, with some funding from South Gippsland Shire Council.

The bus will stop at up to 13 locations four times a day, primarily servicing beach one.

Centre representatives will discuss the final detail with council officers over the next week.

Parks Victoria is also working to upgrade the car park and stairs at number five beach, and has committed $450,000 and three staff to the project.

Parks’ district chief ranger Roger Fenwick and ranger in charge Gerard Delaney briefed councillors about the project last Wednesday.

At beach five, the gravel car park will have designated parking bays to maximise parking space available and improve pedestrian access. Toilets will be upgraded, fences repaired, staircases fixed and risk signs installed.

The car park works will be funded through money raised through recreational fishing licence grants, and works undertaken next financial year.

“Our goal is to improve visitor access at the park but we have to manage that with community expectations,” Mr Fenwick said.

With nearly 4000 people visiting the beaches at peak times and just 300 parking spaces, parking is limited at Venus Bay.

Mayor Cr Kieran Kennedy said: “On Good Friday this year, I could not get down to beaches three, four and five, and you just had to back out.”

Cr Kennedy raised concerns about emergency service vehicles being able to access beaches safely among the crowds.

Mr Fenwick said Parks Victoria would undertake patrolling of beach car parks to ensure parking rules are enforced.

The project has been in the pipeline for many years. A public forum in 2007 asked people for their views about Venus Bay’s beaches and 250 people commented.

That forum resulted in improvements at beach one, with an overflow car park set behind the dunes.

Mr Fenwick suggested other parties could contribute to funding the works, as “by ourselves, we do not have any hope of funding every expectation of the community”.

The boundaries of responsibility within Parks Victoria will be changed next year. The new South Gippsland district will include Wilsons Promontory, and extend from San Remo in the west through to McLoughlins Beach in the east, and also Mirboo North.



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Posted by on Dec 18 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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