Colac civic leaders want to know the economic and social impact of a Colac bypass, before any push to move the Princes Highway.
Colac Otway Shire Council is asking regional lobby group G21 to change its road transport plan for the region, deleting a proposal for the group to lobby for a Princes Highway bypass of Colac.
The council instead wants funding for “a study of the economic, social and environmental impacts” of a bypass, so councillors can determine the best way for highway traffic to move through or around Colac, without harming businesses or the community.
The initial G21 plan listed a bypass as a medium-term priority, but the council wants the study to come as an urgent priority.
“It is essential that this work is undertaken so that council can understand the overall costs and benefits of a possible highway bypass and develop a position on the issue,” a council report said.
Cr Chris Smith said the results of the study should lead into a discussion about the future route of the Princes Highway through or around Colac.
“None of this means it’s going to happen,” he said.
“But by being in the plan it keeps that door open.”
Cr Joe McCracken gained other councillors’ support this week to add the Colac-Lavers Hill road to a list of arterial roads requiring improvement.
Cr McCracken said the Colac-Lavers Hill Road was in desperate need of an upgrade.
“I was a little bit disappointed that the road didn’t cut the mustard in terms of the priorities on the list,” he said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.