Nature trail best option for Saltwater Creek

A low-impact nature trail from Anchorage Road carpark to Saltwater Creek in Ventnor is the best option for the area, as decided by Bass Coast Shire Council at last night’s meeting.

Findings from a report developed following extensive community consultation recommended the trail provide access to the beach at both ends, with educational signage to also be installed along the trail and an information board at the car park entry.

Council consulted with the local community through direct contact with community groups, drop-in sessions, a ‘Talking Table’ and submissions to gather their views and preferences regarding a pathway in Saltwater Creek Reserve.

Cr Phil Wright, who moved the adopted motion, thanked the community for their participation in the project.

“The consultation sessions resulted in a significant number of submissions and interactions with the local community and Council was able to identify a preferred option that takes into account the values the community believe are important to the Saltwater Creek Reserve and foreshore areas,” Cr Wright said.

“These include conservation and protection of the environment and heritage values, safe connection options for communities and use and enjoyment of, and education about, Phillip Island’s natural assets.”

Council will also consider developing a safe, off-road walking and bike path that links Ventnor to Cowes, installing a bridge, picnic table or viewing platform near the creek edge, and block informal beach access tracks; instead directing walkers to formal access points.

Cr Wright said community members will also be invited to form a ‘Friends of Saltwater Creek Reserve’ group to manage the reserve long-term.

“They will be asked to identify alignment of paths and the possible environmental impacts,” Cr Wright said.

“The possibility and location of a bridge will be the main decision. The major deliverable is the delivery of a key section of a pathway from Cowes to The Nobbies.”

Council will work together with the environment and coast action groups in the Saltwater Creek area to seek funding opportunities to undertake the recommended works.