An emergency exit plan is needed for Run-O-Waters

BUSHFIRE RECALLED: Landowner Stewart Thompson says there needs to be an Emergency Exit Plan for Run-O-Waters estate.
BUSHFIRE RECALLED: Landowner Stewart Thompson says there needs to be an Emergency Exit Plan for Run-O-Waters estate.

WEST Goulburn landowner Stewart Thompson says there is still no adequate emergency management plan for Run O Waters estate. 

His comments follow on from the Goulburn Post’s story (September 8) in which estate residents pointed out emergency exit inadequacies. 

These include gated access on Greendale Court to take traffic on to the Hume Highway, but that this is incomplete and has traffic management and other issues. There is also gated access to Carr St. 

A Goulburn Mulwaree Council spokesperson said they held a public workshop with residents of Run-O-Waters in late 2016, “where emergency access from the residential area to complement Ducks Lane was raised as a major issue.”

In relation to the gated exits at Greendale Court and Carr St, the spokesperson said: “Key emergency personnel such as the fire brigade, police and ambulance officers will have keys as well as council staff.” 

"In the event of emergency, residents are to contact emergency services or council, who will be able to open either of the gates. If traffic needs to get on to the Hume Highway the police will work to ensure traffic on the highway is slowed and residents are able to merge safely,” the spokesperson said.

“Council is also investigating the option of developing an access link from Pockley Drive to create another access point onto Gurrundah Road. This is a consideration of a traffic management plan for Run-O-Waters, which is currently being prepared.” 

But Mr Thompson said this was “news to him” – and he owns most of the land in that area.

He said he had been in previous discussions with the council over possibly providing emergency access through his property, but nothing had eventuated. 

Mr Thompson said there was still no adequate emergency management plan for Run-O-Waters estate. 

“The council should sit down with residents regarding the Ducks Lane/Bonnet Park/Run-O-Waters Precinct Traffic Study and develop some reasoned and practical short and long term emergency plans for the areas at risk,” Mr Thompson said. 

“They need to prepare an Emergency Management and Evacuation plan for the precinct now. Carr Street should be reopened as a matter of urgency with weight limits and traffic calming devices installed to deter through traffic and protect local amenity.

“The council should also work with Shannon Drive developers to incorporate an additional access road to the north east that isn't reliant on development completion and provides for a roundabout at the Cowper/Mary Street intersection. We need a plan for people to get out in the event of an emergency.” 

Breadalbane bushfire recalled 

Thirty years ago the Breadalbane bushfire ripped through the area now occupied by Run-O-Waters estate, burning through 3500 acres and killing 3500 sheep.

Stewart Thompson reminded the Goulburn Post of this catastrophic event and warned it could happen again in the area. 

“The Breadalbane Plains fire of April 5, 1986, significantly affected land in the Run-O-Waters locality and property on the southern fringe of the city,” he said. 

“This fire advanced at rate of 3km/h, burning over 3500 acres of grazing lands and killing 3500 sheep, 37 cattle, and numerous structures.”

“There is significant potential for a similar catastrophic fire related event, that will threaten life and property in Run-O- Waters / The Meadows (rural residential subdivision), Wollon Hill subdivision off Knowlman Road, Bonnett Park and Carr Street and other parts of the Shire.

“Fire at the Mary Street end of Carr street or between the roundabout on Ducks Lane and the existing blockade would effectively trap Carr Street residents. With the fire season approaching it is important to get an emergency exit plan and to reduce hazards. 

“All residents should get a text message telling them what to do in the event of an emergency.”