Call for footpaths to catch up as Port Fairy and Koroit grow

Upgrade call: Koroit's Vicky Walter and Marlene Lenehan want a footpath in Black Street to make getting around safer. Picture: Anthony Brady
Upgrade call: Koroit's Vicky Walter and Marlene Lenehan want a footpath in Black Street to make getting around safer. Picture: Anthony Brady

Independence is crucial for Koroit’s Vicky Walter.

Ms Walter is vision-impaired and makes her way around on a wheelchair or motorised scooter, and she was recently advised by her occupational therapist to stop making her way into town each day because of the safety risks posed by the lack of a footpath on her street – Black Street.

To get around, she has to travel down the centre of the narrow road to avoid potholes, which puts her at risk from delivery trucks that use the road.

The long-time resident has joined some of her neighbours – with some elderly, some also using disability scooters – in submitting a petition to Moyne Shire for a footpath to be put in her street.

The petition is asking for a footpath to run the length of the street from Nine Mile Creek Road to Church Street.

“My vision occupational mobility therapist is happy for me to go down the street, but she’s not happy with me going down the street at the moment without someone with me,” Ms Walter said.

“I’m very, very restricted as to when I can go out and about. If we had a proper path, I’d be allowed to go out.”

Another Black Street resident who started the petition, Marlene Lenehan, said the street had changed over time, with extra people building new houses.

She said a lot of school children used the street.

“Koroit has grown and infrastructure to support the new houses hasn’t kept up with it,” Ms Lenehan said.

Moyne Shire received the petition at the January council meeting.

Port Fairy parent Paul Ross said he was “disappointed” that at the same meeting council rejected another petition calling for the construction a footpath in College Street, Port Fairy, between Bank Street and the Princes Highway.

Mr Ross, who has two daughters in grade one and grade three at Port Fairy Consolidated School, said residents put together the petition because of concerns about the safety of pre-school and primary school students using the street.

At the meeting, Moyne Shire director of physical services Trev Greenberger said since the petition was received a footpath had been constructed on Villiers Street between Bank Street and the Princes Highway.

He said the new footpath provided access for people to travel along Bank Street and down Villiers Street to get to landmarks including Port Fairy Consolidated school.

Mr Greenberger said construction of a footpath in College Street would still be considered in the future under Moyne Shire’s footpath policy.