VicRoads’ role under the spotlight


VicRoads’ role under the spotlight

SEVEN submissions from within the South Gippsland Shire Council helped to inform the inquiry into VicRoads’ management of country roads interim report, released recently.
Completed by the Victorian Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee, the inquiry examined the effectiveness of VicRoads in managing country roads, the existing funding model, the lack of consultation with regional communities, and the option of dismantling VicRoads and creating two specific bodies for country roads and metropolitan roads.
VicRoads is responsible for 25,000 kilometres of Victoria’s roads and roadsides. Of those 25,000 kilometres, 19,000 kilometres are rural and regionally based roads.
The inquiry received a total of 335 submissions.
The report determined various concerns relating to the role of VicRoads in managing country roads.
The report said many submissions commented on the poor quality of maintenance work and the competency of contractors hired by VicRoads to carry out such works, including one from South Gippsland Shire Council.
In its submission, council said VicRoads was “a poorly informed purchaser having works delivered by inexperienced contractors and the result is gradually declining quality in the work delivered”.
Council’s submission also suggested issues with routine maintenance work.
“The poor contract model historically used for VicRoads maintenance, where it was more financially rewarding for contractors to keep repairing potholes, has also been a contributing factor,” its submission said.
“There does not appear to be a sound pavement renewal program where larger pavement areas are reconstructed rather than basic pothole repairs being undertaken.”
The report said South Gippsland council (and other councils) indicated it often dealt with complaints relating to state managed roads due to limited community understanding.
“Rural councils such as South Gippsland experience fallout from complaints about the condition of the arterial road network,” the council’s submission said.
“Road users and ratepayers typically do not distinguish between local roads managed by council and arterial roads managed by VicRoads.”
Forty two individual submitters were in favour of a specific country roads body separate to a metropolitan roads body and 11 were opposed.
Mark Petersen of Leongatha North noted his recollection of the operation of the Victorian Country Roads Board.
“I am old enough to remember the Victoria Country Roads Board. Under this organisation our roads were maintained to a high standard, surfaces were regularly re-sealed, there were crews that patrolled our highways daily repairing holes in the surfaces until a proper repair could be effected. This is what we need now,” Mr Petersen’s submission said.
The report’s only recommendation was for the inquiry to be referred to the appropriate committee in the next Parliament of Victoria for consideration and report.

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Posted by on Aug 7 2018. 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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