Auditor General confirms roads need repair

Published on 03 July 2017

VicRoads road in disrepair

A report released recently by the Victorian Auditor General has confirmed the huge gap in funding required to maintain and repair State controlled roads across Victoria.

The Report outlines three key areas in which VicRoads is failing in its role in the South West including reactive maintenance, unsatisfactory funding levels and unclear asset management plans.

Corangamite Shire Mayor Jo Beard applauded the Report from the Auditor General which she said unsurprisingly was not telling us anything we don’t already know but maybe now, the public shaming would get us the money required to address the disgraceful state of our arterial roads.

“Our communities rely on these roads for access to work, schools, shops, recreational activities, health care and other services. Roads also play a critical role in the movement of freight and goods across Victoria as well as being a vital link for the millions of tourists to our area and beyond.

“Our State Government funded road network is in a horrendous condition bringing increased costs to the community through vehicle maintenance costs, travel times resulting in additional fuel usage. When road surfaces are allowed to deteriorate to current conditions they end up being more expensive to maintain and repair in the future,” Cr. Beard said.

“A proactive approach to maintaining the network will remove the ‘band aid’ approach so often seen, which ultimately does not fix the problems with the road,” she said.

The road network plays a critical role in supporting our people and our jobs. Access to major supply routes is a key advantage for many businesses located in Corangamite Shire and it is important that road infrastructure is kept to a usable quality to ensure easy access into the region.

Data has shown that of the 603 kilometres of VicRoads network in Corangamite Shire, over 15 per cent is in a poor or distressed condition, one of the lowest rankings given to roads, which has doubled from the data recorded 10 years prior.

Cr. Beard said State managed roads are unsafe and the longer there is no action, the more it will cost, and with no asset management plan in sight the ability for VicRoads to allocate appropriate funding is severely lacking.

“As a Council we are expected to manage our assets in a sustainable manner through an Asset Management Plan, with suitable budget provisions to meet asset renewal targets.

“My question to the State Government is why is one of its own departments not provided with the financial resources to enable these same standards and what is the future plan around fixing State highways and roads across the Corangamite Shire?

“Reducing speed limits on country roads to take the blame away from the years of neglect is not acceptable and our community is fed up with being treated like second class citizens when it comes to road funding in Victoria.”