Fire puts focus on access at Elliston

THE Elliston District Council will investigate options to extend some of its roads after a fire at the airport in October this year highlighted local access issues. 

A number of residents who live on Clementina Drive, Stormbird Road, Spindrift  Road and Waratah Road wrote to the council to express their concern that the four roads in the area are all dead ends. 

The fire, which was started by lightning on the morning of October 24 in the swamp next to the airport, picked up at about 10am.

In the letter the residents said when fire started running toward the highway SA Police and CFS asked nearby residents to prepare to evacuate and then shortly after told them to leave their homes.

One of the residents, David Allchurch said the fire had raised “major concerns” as Clementina, Stormbird, Spindrift and Waratah roads all ended in dead ends. 

Mr Allchurch said there would be no escape for residents in the area if there was a more serious fire with wind coming from the north.

“We, the occupants on these roads ask that the council seriously consider opening up the rest of Clementina Drive and that the unnamed public road at the end of Spindrift Road be continued to meet Clementina Drive.”

Residents also asked for the unnamed public road, about 400-metres toward Elliston, to meet up with the cliff top road near the monument site. 

“This would then cover all fire incidents from any direction for a safer escape route for residents and better access for CFS,” Mr Allchurch said.

Elliston council’s operations manager Arthur Johnstone said staff investigated extending Clementina Road to the clifftops last year but the cost was deemed too expensive.

He said at this stage the council should consider investigating the feasibility of the road network being extended.

Mr Johnstone said the additional roads would allow tourists to access the clifftops near the monuments from the historic cemetery as well as serving a community need.