Bass Coast,

Path network mapped out

Bass Coast Shire Council has mapped out its aspirations for a pathway network across the Shire in its recently adopted Aspirational Network Pathways Plan 2016.

In response to an intiative included in the 2015/16 Budget, an aspirational set of maps have been produced showing a network of paths which provide strategic connections to and within Bass Coast Shire settlements.

The Plan has been developed to understand and prioritise the community’s need for new paths, trails and cycle ways.

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale, said the pathway network within Bass Coast Shire is an important asset, and one that is well utilised asset by our community and local visitors to the area.

“Cycling and walking is healthy, low impact, fun and for all ages and a healthy community that is physically connected with greenways, trails and paths is connected on so many other levels. It is free and easily manageable in one’s daily routine and the social and recreational benefits are obvious. The economic impact is equally important, with cycling tracks becoming increasingly popular for tourists all year round,” Cr Crugnale said.

“The draft 2015/16 Budget, currently out on exhibition, has an allocation to plan out the networks capital works program by priority. This is how aspirational becomes a reality and this is a continuous long term project – not opt in and opt out when it suits.

“Council values paths; they are a vital community asset and we will continue to invest in filling in the gaps, connecting places and towns, and making it easier to get to school, work and popular destinations within and beyond our towns.

The current pathway network is not fully complete and there are still gaps in the network that now need to be further prioritised and planned for. This 2015/2016 initiative from Council is an important step in that process.

The aspirational maps that have been completed to date have been developed through a review of existing and proposed pathways, with gaps in the network then identified through a series of workshops with Councillors.

The process has identified 52 possible extensions or additions to the pathways network, subject to funding.

This project has also provided an opportunity to collate all of Council’s pathway data in the one set of maps; a very valuable reference tool and will continue to be refined, improved and used for many years to come.