Council to Close 10 Walkways in Bid to Reduce Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

Council will begin the process of closing 10 public walkways across Dubbo in a bid to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Seven laneways in West Dubbo and three in East Dubbo are proposed to be shut, with the land sold to adjacent landowners where possible, or fenced off to the public after councillors endorsed the recommendations at Tuesday night’s Infrastructure and Liveability Committee Meeting.

The following laneways are set to close:

West Dubbo

  • Gumtree Avenue to Horizon Place

  • Horizon Place to Meadowbank Drive

  • Meadowbank Drive to Springfield Way

  • MacKay Drive to public reserve

  • Meurer Court to public reserve

  • Rivergum Place to public reserve

  • Clews Street to public reserve

East Dubbo

  • Lancaster Park Place to Carisbrook Park

  • Twickenham Drive to public reserve

  • Erica Close to St Georges Terrace

Public consultation was undertaken with an overwhelming majority of submissions in favour of closure. Support for closure was between 78.3 per cent and 86.3 per cent for individual walkways.

Crime and anti-social behaviour was the main reason cited in many submissions in favour of closures, with concerns for safety a common focus. The main reason for opposing closures was access for people to schools or recreational walking.

Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields said the walkways were an outdated feature of suburbs and attracted crime.

“I want to see these walkways closed because the feedback I have had from police is they are regularly used by criminals to evade police and cause trouble,” Councillor Shields said.

“People have a right to feel safe in their neighbourhood and so many people who live near these walkways say they feel unsafe. They report increased vandalism, drug activity and refuse to use the walkways themselves, especially at night.

“I understand a handful of people might be inconvenienced by the closures but this is being done for the benefit of the whole community.”

While the preferred option of Council is to sell the walkway land to adjacent landowners and adjust the boundaries, in some cases there are technical reasons where no sale can occur, such as if there is a stormwater overland flow path or utility easement.

In these circumstances a security fence will be erected at each end of the walkway and the land will be maintained by Council staff.

Last Edited: 17 Jun 2020

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