Deniliquin's Sloane St west residents are calling on council to seal the road, and help reduce a problem with dirt and dust.By Zoe McMaugh
After 10 years of requests, residents at the river end of Sloane St have ramped up an appeal for Deniliquin Council to seal their road.
Leading to a public boat ramp, the group of residents say council should be obligated to approve the request.
Only a 1km stretch of Sloane St remains as gravel and dirt, but it is frustrating those who live along it.
Dirt, grit and dust is constantly invading their homes because of vehicle traffic heading to the Sloane St boat ramp.
And the safety of residents and the boat ramp users should also be considered, according to Richard and Elaine Walker.
Mr and Mrs Walker said they knew the risks when choosing to live on a dirt road, but said the problems of a normal dirt road is exacerbated by the number of people using the boat ramp.
Acting on behalf of Sloane St residents, the Walkers have been pushing council to seal the road for two years.
They also started a petition, which was presented to council with the names of 66 people who agree.
The couple agree that while they enjoy seeing people use the boat ramp, and taking advantage of Deniliquin’s river, they said the consequences for the residents are disappointing.
They have asked council to consider sealing the road, not only to ease the situation for them but to improve access for locals and visitors using the river.
‘‘It is not our intention to become difficult,’’ Mr Walker said.
‘‘We absolutely support the use of the ramp, it’s lovely, and sealing the road would be for the wellbeing of the town and promoting the ramp,’’ Mrs Walker added.
‘‘It would be in the best interest for use of the ramp and we are just hoping something can actually be done.’’
The high amount of traffic using the road means there is a large amount of dust blowing onto and inside their home, even when it’s closed up, Mr Walker explained.
‘‘We see vehicles go past all the time, and local traffic has increased,’’ he said.
‘‘The dust problem is pretty severe, and it’s really just not nice.
‘‘We cannot open up the house and take advantage of our verandah or our many windows with views.
‘‘The south west winds mean we cop a lot of the dust (when cars go by) and we can’t even hang the washing outside.
‘‘Our solar panels are always covered in dust, which is probably affecting their efficiency, and we’re thinking of installing more to run all our electricity from.’’
Health issues have also entered into the argument for the Walkers, with Mrs Walker suffering from a lung disease.
Fellow resident Doug Adamson said there was only two solutions — reduce the speed limit or seal the road.
But he said with many drivers already ignoring a reduce speed sign at the start of the dirt section of road, the seal is the only real solution.
He said it may also help in deterring what he described as hoon drivers.
‘‘The dust also creates safety issues,’’ Mrs Walker added.
‘‘Only recently there was a near miss crash between two utes towing boats because of all the dust around.’’
In gaining the signatures on the petition, Mrs Walker sat at the boat ramp over a number of days, talking to people who regularly use the facility.
The petition was tabled at a recent council meeting but there was little discussion on the issue.
Using the recent Ochtertyre St sealing project as a guide, Sloane St residents believe the project may cost council at least $150,000.
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