”Goat track” keeping oldies out of The Dell

Andrew Mathieson
A “goat track” access path has put Clifton Springs’ The Dell beach off limits to the elderly, according to residents.
They said residents were shunning the new pathway from the top of a hillside overlooking The Dell since it opened in December.
The Independent heard complaints during a visit to The Dell on the weekend, with residents labelling the new path a “goat track”.
The pedestrian access was built after Geelong’s council closed a public road to the beach in June, 2002, fearing landslides could threaten public safety.
Access to the beach resumed in summer after years of complaints and a residents’ clean-up of The Dell.
Ward councillor Tom O’Connor said the reopening gave residents “ready access”.
City Hall committed $240,000 in April to works east of a high-risk zone above The Dell.
Councillors also recommended demolition of a pool and kiosk block. Council heard repairs would cost ratepayers $25,000 to $35,000 but faced an ongoing risk of land slips.
Drysdale and Clifton Springs Community Association’s Bernard Filbay said the public response to changes at The Dell had been a “shame”.
“The catch is that the path the City has put in is very steep and quite winding,” he said.
“Most people who go down there now are the fit ones but it’s not suited to anybody else.
“I certainly know that people my age have one go and they don’t go back.
“A new toilet block, barbecue and shelter has since been constructed at the top of The Dell.”
Mr Filbay hoped the City would consider realigning the access road based on an original master plan from 15 years ago.
“They seem reluctant to do this – it was the same with the old pool,” he said.
“All they did was another geo-technical report. It’s still not saying how to fix it.”
Mr Filbay believed that The Dell needed a push to include heritage signs indicating the whereabouts of its mineral springs.

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