Oct 13, 2016

Letter to the Editor, Fixing Vicroads


Community feedback is highlighting the poor state of our roads in Western Victoria.

How about a Local Government VICROADS model, where all the roads except National Highways become under the management of Local Councils. Councils that can't dodge their responsibilities as we are closest to the people and you all let us know when you are not happy.

Finance for roads come from State and Federal Taxes, Fuel excise, Fuel GST, registrations and licensing. How much money is collected and from where? I call this Truth in Taxing.

13 October 2016

Letter to the Editor (editor@spec.com.au)

Community feedback is highlighting the poor state of our roads in Western Victoria.
Pot holes, slumping bitumen, clay patches appearing through breaks in the bitumen seal, sudden narrowing of roads, steep fall off edges and rough surfaces. Now the impact of floods.

The extra cost to repair to cars, trucks and buses is hurting this community financially. But most of all we are risking our lives every day when we set out from our front gates with the increased danger of travelling on these unsafe roads.

Successive Governments have failed Western Victoria. What can we do?  Local Government could be the solution.  Instead of continually explaining that the roads people are usually complaining about are Vicroads roads and not Local Government's  responsibility, we could bite the bullet and take over the management of all roads within the Shire and work like we do already with neighbouring Shires on the interface roads. Road making and maintenance could be a boost to local employment in the area,  providing we get the share of the taxes that drive the current Vicroads expenditure, plus some.

The recent change State Government change was to a Public Private Partnership model but not including Local Government. In our Western Victoria Region Vicroads is now called Fulton Hogan Vicroads contracted to 2020. Is this working? So far there is no evidence that it is. Will local councils see a full plan of what the assets are, what is the current state of the road, what is the desired standard of that road and what is the timeline for repair or renewal? Councils have all of this information on local roads but we never see the full management plan and time line for State managed Vicroads. Will this PPP provide this detail?

How about a Local Government VICROADS model, where all the roads except National Highways become under the management of Local Councils. Councils that can't dodge their responsibilities as we are closest to the people and you all let us know when you are not happy.

Finance for roads come from State and Federal Taxes, Fuel excise, Fuel GST, registrations and licensing. How much money is collected and from where? I call this Truth in Taxing. With computer technology it should be possible to know how much from what areas is collected. Then examining expenditure, what is the real cost of road building? How much is spent on management and taken in super profits? And is there recourse when a new road section falls apart within months?

Lobbying has not worked. Election pressure has not worked. Although I am only one of many concerned about how we solve this unsafe roads dilemma, I am keen to see change for the better. Feedback and alternative solutions welcome.

Katrina Rainsford
candidate
SGSC election
256 Melville Forest Rd Cavendish

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