Rocks blocking an easement onto the Wodonga golf course have already delayed paramedics once, with club members concerned that next time that delay could be deadly.
Club pro Gavin Vearing said council blocked an access point at the end of Down Court earlier this year after a resident complained.
Last night at a protest, he said council were looking at blocking other access points to the course as well because of public liability and safety concerns.
Mr Vearing said more than 300 residents had signed a petition against the blockage and council’s solution created safety concerns by forcing golf carts onto nearby roads and blocking emergency service access.
“We had to get an ambulance out here about four or five months ago for a member who was having a heart problem,” he said
“When I got out here he was conscious but then he did pass out.
“The ambulance station is actually very close to the golf course but with the access being blocked they had to drive all the way around the golf course.
“Instead of being a one kilometre trip it ends up being a three to four kilometre trip.
“It could be the difference between life and death.”
Mr Vearing said there had been no cases of anyone using the access points to hoon on the golf course during his time and no incidents of injuries.
He said it was legal in Victoria to drive golf carts on public roads for up to two kilometres.
“But I think it is a lot safer if they get straight onto the golf course rather than drive alongside cars,” he said.
Wodonga Council acting director planning and infrastructure John Sidgwick said ‘landscaping elements’ were placed to restrict vehicle access at the site in response to resident requests.
He said the court was not a formal access point to the golf course and vehicles should be using the club entrance, noting “signage on the course prohibits public access at several informal entry points”.
“Vehicles using this informal access were causing damage to the grassed area in and around private property and on the public land,” Mr Sidgwick said.
“The safety of the community – both using the private land of the golf course and the court – was taken into consideration in undertaking this action.”
Wodonga Ratepayer Association president Ian Deegan said the estate was built with golfers in mind which is why the easements and access points existed.
He said nearby residents bought houses and golf carts because of the access and council’s response to “one complaint was just amazing”.
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