Hundreds back roads bid


Hundreds back roads bid

Lisa Burge: the roads campaigner has scored a big “like” with her call for legislation change.

A FACEBOOK campaign calling for action to fix South Gippsland roads already has substantial

The campaign was launched on Saturday and demands change to a roads law that defines “repair” as the erection of warning signs. It has already scored hundreds of “likes”.

Launched by Leongatha’s Lisa Burge, who has been arguing for repairs to the treacherous Meeniyan Promontory Road, the site asks people to: Like this post if you believe the government has jeopardised your road safety by cutting the roads management budget.

Ms Burge is calling for a change to the Roads Management Act (2004), which, in part, defines “repair” as “providing a warning to road users of a defect in a roadway, pathway or road related infrastructure”.

The definition means roads authorities are under no obligation to undertake repairs in a defined time period if drivers have been alerted to a potential danger.

Ms Burge wants 1000 “likes” for her cyber petition, before she takes it to the Federal and State governments.

“Everyone on Facebook is saying silly things like if I get 1000 likes my husband will buy me a cat. I thought I’d adopt that concept for a roads campaign. Basically I got sick of being pushed to the side. Using a media network at least lets people vent their frustration, regardless of whether we change the law,” she said.

“It’s not just me whingeing about the roads on this site. People can get on and comment, and they’re all saying the same thing. Ninety-nine per cent of the public feels the same way about the state of the roads.

“Peter Ryan and the other politicians need to know just how bad things are. I hope this is opening a new avenue for attack, to actually get something done here. I’ve been bombarded with comments. If politicians don’t want to talk to us we’ll talk to them.”

Shadow Roads Minister Luke Donneallan, who has “liked” the Facebook campaign, said the State Government is “using the act to avoid its responsibility to fix the roads”.

He believes Facebook can be a useful site “for residents to vent their frustrations about roads in South Gippsland”.

But he thinks changes to the law would be problematic.

“A change to the law would not be necessary if the State Government hadn’t slashed VicRoads’ maintenance budget by 40 per cent. Instead of fixing problems they’re erecting go slow signs everywhere,” he said.

“Changing the legislation would be difficult, but it was never really an issue in the past. The underlying issue is the government’s 40 per cent cut to VicRoads’ maintenance budget. They have less of a revenue base.

“We’re getting reports from everywhere about the deteriorating roads.”

Neither Deputy Premier Peter Ryan or Roads Minister Terry Mulder has supported the call for a change to the law.

Comments to the site have come thick and fast, with a typical one being: “South Gippsland Hwy and Meeniyan/Fish Creek Road are amongst the worst I have had to drive on recently!!! The South Gippsland Hwy potholes owe me three new mags on my car at a cost of more than $3000. Who is going to foot that bill??!!! I am driving on mags that could cause a tyre to blow out because I can’t afford to replace them… Thanks for nothing Federal, State and Local Governments!!”

“Like” the campaign at The Star’s Facebook site:

Short URL: /?p=6273

Posted by on Jan 30 2013. Filed under Featured, 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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