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Roads disgrace

BIKERS have joined with shire councils to plea for better roads in South Gippsland and Bass Coast.
Motorcyclists en route to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Philip Island on the weekend were aghast at the region’s pothole riddled roads.
Their response comes as South Gippsland Shire Council will tomorrow (Wednesday) debate whether to call on the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) to lobby the State Government for adequate roads funding.
Council is considering tabling a motion to that effect at the MAV’s State Council meeting this Friday (October 25). The motion was supported by Bass Coast Shire Council at last Wednesday’s meeting.
The pleas came ahead of the State Government yesterday (Monday) announcing an initial amount of $58 million to upgrade 47 high risk roads including the South Gippsland and Bass highways, over 10 years. That equates to $5.8 million a year.
Another $5.4 million will be spent on road safety improvements over a 14km stretch of the South Gippsland Highway between Lang Lang to Loch, while $688,000 will be spent to upgrade Nerrena Road as part of the Transport Solutions regional freight initiative.
Melbourne motorcyclist Mark Taylor rode to the GP from eastern Victoria and was disgusted with the state of local roads.
“I have ridden from Bairnsdale with my brother on the way to the GP and the roads are horrible,” he said.
“Up in the city, the roads aren’t too bad but here in the country areas the roads are shocking.
“There are too many potholes and it just keeps getting worse as we go. It is very dangerous.”
South Gippsland council is likely to ask the MAV to lobby the government to increase road maintenance funding to VicRoads “to meet community and transport industry customer service levels and performance standard expectations which are currently not being met.”
The rationale for the motion states: “Blowing a tyre on a pothole was once a rare event but now sadly, it is a common occurrence following a few days of wet weather.”
Council mayor Cr Kieran Kennedy called on the government to increase roads funding immediately, not just in the shire but across Victoria.
“The government has announced an amended surplus and they need to have a good look at funding rural roads because we are looking at the roads costing the State Government more and more in the long term rather than it addressing the issues in the short and medium term,” he told The Star last Wednesday.
The quality of work was also an issue.
“The way the potholes are being repaired now is far from even being adequate, yet alone permanent,” Cr Kennedy said.
“You can’t bring someone back from a fatality because of a pothole. We want to protect our residents, workers and visitors.”
Bass Coast council backed South Gippsland’s motion.
Deputy mayor Cr Neil Rankine said all councils were suffering through lack of repair to roads networks.
Cr Andrew Phillips said the maintenance of roads needed to be “adequately maintained”.
“VicRoads doesn’t have the sufficient funds to do it. I think the State Government need to increase that budget,” he said.
Cr Bradley Drew said the lead-up to the grand prix was the only time VicRoads was proactive on the roads.
“I think we really need to punch above our weight a bit, communicating with VicRoads to make sure we get our fair share of potholes mended, rather than that time of year that seems to coincide with the Moto GP,” he said.
Cr Phil Wright said a petition by shire residents to have VicRoads fix part of the Bass Highway near the Densley Road intersection at Kilcunda, was an “interesting” one.
But he said was concerned three competing road projects listed for the shire – the Phillip Island tourist road, Wonthaggi bypass and passing lanes from Anderson to Inverloch – could mean none would happen any time soon.
“At a state election time, how does council prioritise these? Or do we go for all three? How can we use the election process to get a good outcome?” he asked.

Dropping in: Mark Taylor of Melbourne, Doug Taylor of Bairnsdale and Dean Shembri of Narre Warren stopped in Leongatha on their way through to the Moto GP on Thursday. Mark was disgusted by the state of the roads throughout Gippsland but especially in South Gippsland.

Dropping in: Mark Taylor of Melbourne, Doug Taylor of Bairnsdale and Dean Shembri of Narre Warren stopped in Leongatha on their way through to the Moto GP on Thursday. Mark was disgusted by the state of the roads throughout Gippsland but especially in South Gippsland.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9076

Posted by on Oct 22 2013. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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