While most of the community has been angered by a Trafalgar wall’s erection, others see it as an opportunity for a long sought-after bike and walking path.
Trafalgar East resident Brett Treadwell said he had been calling for a walking and cycling path linking Trafalgar East to the main township for 10 years and was always told by Baw Baw Shire council officers there was “no room in the budget”.
“There’s two new estates, but no paths out the front of them,” Mr Treadwell said.
“There’s no walkway into Trafalgar central business district, you have to walk along the highway, which can be dangerous.
“Having the path would be an opportunity for people to walk or ride into town and go to cafes and restaurants – a win-win for the town.”
Mr Treadwell said he envisaged the path as similar to a rail trail, simply made of some gravel at what he thought could be a low cost to the shire.
Baw Baw Shire community assets director Phil Cantillon said council was unable to find any record of a request for a path having been made.
“There are not currently any plans for the development of a walking track, however the Baw Baw Shire Integrated Transport Plan 2011 recommends council undertake further engineering investigations and community consultation for inter-town trails,” Mr Cantillon said.
“Council’s priority is to first improve intra-town path links, including paths required for connecting residents with activity centres and community facilities, such as schools, kindergartens, shops, medical facilities, recreational parks and public transport.”
Mr Treadwell disputed the idea Trafalgar East was a separate town to Trafalgar and required an inter-town path.
“We’re still classed as Trafalgar and are a part of that town,” Mr Treadwell said.
In response to the suggestion a path could be constructed along the current wall, Mr Cantillon said council preferred paths be in safe locations with “adequate separation between high speed roads and the path”.
“Pedestrian paths have been constructed in the Trafalgar Meadows Estate and are currently being constructed through the Strzelecki Views Estate to ensure connections are provided to the town centre and to the schools.”