The proposed Krauatungalung Boardwalk looping from the footbridge to Eastern Beach and back, still irks residents with nearby or adjoining properties.
The proposed walk will run along the esplanade and past Short Street, Middle, Street, Jetty Road and McKillops Lane before looping back along the beach side back to the footbridge.
Peter Neverauskas, of the Lakes Waterfront Motel, says there is “not broad based support from the community” for the walk.
He says the eastern link boardwalk concept is “illogical at best”.
“Why would you build the eastern link when there is already an all abilities path?” he asked.
Mr Neverauskas said it would cost major amounts of money on maintenance every year.
“It could not possibly meet the council’s Foreshore Management Plan,” he said.
“This area is considered a ‘natural precinct’ by council. Cunninghame Arm is an important estuarine habitat with a broad range of flora and fauna species, including 22 threatened or rare flora species, 58 threatened or rare fauna species and 19 internationally significant migratory birds.
“The council’s Foreshore Management Plan states that ‘we need a reduction of visual impact and intrusion of buildings and structures at the coastal edges, lake edges and prominent ridgelines of settlements such as Lakes Entrance’.”
Some residents fear it will take away their privacy and encroach on their lifestyle.
“It will take away residents use of their own private property, including jetties,” Mr Neverauskas said.
“How could anyone consider that building a raised boardwalk in front of someone’s bedroom is a good and community minded idea? This is totally unacceptable, especially as the majority of the residents are senior citizens who have contributed so much to our local area.”
Nicholas Hall, who lives on the waterfront where the boardwalk is proposed to pass, said there was an existing footpath only a short distance away that took people to Eastern Beach and to the footbridge.
“There could be bollards in front of the businesses on the highway, to make the footpath more defined. This could be done for a small amount of money. This also could be safer for the St Brendan’s Primary School students,” he said.
“It is a natural zoning with the council. It is not natural having a boardwalk. It is also a terrible waste of public money
“The lookout on Jemmys Point and Bullock Island are a much higher priority for the town than a boardwalk in front of family residences.”
Mr Neverauskas said the beach in the current design “cannot” be implemented because it covers up the storm water drains.
He said under the current Foreshore Management Plan Cunningham Arm was proposed to become a family recreational space, by creating sandy beaches.
“This is now the time to implement this strategy,” Mr Neverauskas said.
“The council does own a dredge and we could quite easily add new beaches as well as remediate the Eastern Link. This would save millions of dollars which could be reinvested into other areas in town.
“Even if we were to invest in the best possible walk in Lakes Entrance this proposal would not be our number one choice.
“The obvious first choice would be to upgrade the walk to the entrance, that’s who we are, Lakes Entrance. Second choice would be the walk from Kalimna down to town. This walk is currently an “eyesore” and needs replacing as soon as possible. Kalimna is the gateway to Lakes and thousands of people every day see a tired and shabby walkway, this is not a very good promotion for our area. We need to coordinate our infrastructure projects much better.”
Mr Neverauskas said the money would be better spent on other local projects.
“I would suggest it is more important and beneficial to invest in infrastructure that will give us the best outcome for jobs, tourism, our retail sector, and the community at large,” he said.
“In my opinion Jemmys Point is the best value for our very rare available resources. We cannot afford to make similar mistakes as we have done in the past.
“For example local residents will recall when we were replacing our footbridge to the beach, an opportunity was there to build an iconic tourist attraction right in the middle of town, but we ended up with a functional, rather boring bridge instead. How nice it would be now to have this tourist attraction in place.”
Residents residing near or adjoining the proposed Krauatungalung Boardwalk along the esplanade from the footbridge to Eastern Beach and return are not pleased with the plans, saying it encroaches their properties and lifestyle.