Shire wants brakes put on train stabling facility

November 7, 2019 BY

THE Surf Coast Shire has joined the City of Greater Geelong in opposing the state government’s plans to build a train stabling and maintenance facility in Waurn Ponds.

At their meeting last month, Surf Coast Shire councillors accepted that the growth in the region meant such a facility would be necessary, but disagreed with the state government over where the facility should be built.

The existing plan will see 61 hectares of a farm at 255 Reservoir Road acquired by the state government to assist the facility’s construction.

Cr Brian McKiterick said if the plan went ahead, it would “result in the splitting of a highly productive farm, and force these people (the farmers) into basically not being able to continue their living.”

While most the land is in the City of Greater Geelong’s region, a small portion of it falls within the Surf Coast Shire.

Cr James McIntyre agreed, saying that while the facility was needed, the location was not right.

“This is a needed facility, and it does serve a greater purpose, but the purpose it serves won’t serve well in the location that’s being proposed.

“It’s not okay for the state government to simply intervene as it pleases.”

Cr McIntyre said it was also of note that the owners of the land have farmed on the property for more than a century, contributing significantly to the community in the process.

The council report also noted that the noise and light from the facility would affect the local residents, as the facility would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In September, the City of Greater Geelong similarly voted to make a submission asking for a different location to be considered for the facility.

Shire officers will speak at a hearing into the facility in February 2020.