Child trap: Albury chasm 'absolutely dangerous'

A HOLE that has grown into a chasm is a danger for children and should be fixed as part of a $125,000 drainage project, Albury Council has said.

Rain has caused erosion to expand the hole, near a fire trail at Lavington in the past year.

Nearby Billson Place resident Ron McLachlan said he had first raised concerns with the council 18 months ago, with his last contact with a planning officer on February 8 last year when he was told the problem was “in hand” and action would be taken.

“Young kids go up there all the time,” Mr McLachlan said.

“It’s absolutely dangerous. I am concerned that something will happen to them.”

The council’s acting director of engineering, Andrew Lawson, agreed there was a problem and said the drainage project was expected to fix it.

“The council is aware the problem is being caused by water run-off from the hill eroding the soil,” Mr Lawson said.

“The council has allocated $125,000 in its budget to redirect water from the catchment drain to the nearby gully.

“The work should be completed by the end of March.”

Mr McLachlan first raised drainage concerns and the hole with the council soon after moving to his home in August, 2010.

“We copped a heap of rain that year,” he said.

Mud and slush from a dirt road leading to the hole washed into Mr McLachlan’s driveway and garage.

He took photographs and contacted the council in September.

It sent people to inspect the problem and Mr McLachlan told them he wanted to alter the structure of his northern boundary fence.

It was then found that the council had encroached about 30 centimetres onto his land.

Mr McLachlan said he had been told a dirt roundabout at the end of the street, along with the other issues he had raised, would be fixed.

There has been erosion at the roundabout and twice Mr McLachlan has assisted drivers who “bottomed out” their cars when trying to turn.

The council erected steel posts and plastic mesh around the hole in question in 2010.

It collapsed into the hole soon after and nothing has happened since, despite another council inspection after heavy rain last February.

A motorcycle rider travelling too fast had a near-miss in the area in September.

Nearby residents believed he was riding a stolen bike when he roared along a fire trail.

The road turns sharply to the right at the hole and the motorcyclist had braked heavily and jumped off.

The bike shot forward about 10 metres into the hole, snapped a tree root and the front wheel was embedded in dirt.

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