Shire’s position on roads and maintenance clarified
Regarding Frank Edwards’ letter (Road maintenance not an optional extra, 19/1), the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River wishes to clarify planning processes and expenditure on roads upgrades and maintenance.
The headline and letter suggest the Shire previously addressed the matter of road maintenance.
The Shire advises its response to Times’ questions informing the referenced article (Call for action on ‘neglect’ of roads, 5/1/2017) exclusively dealt with gravel road upgrades, not road maintenance.
Contrary to the letter, the Shire has an adopted asset management plan which includes roads.
The correlating costs of road maintenance are reflected in the Shire’s long-term financial plan.
Both plans were adopted in 2013 and are available for public viewing on the Shire’s website under council minutes and agendas.
References to 2.5 per cent of rates for road maintenance quoted by the previous Shire president related solely to gravel road re-sheeting.
It excluded any reference to other routine road maintenance and programmed road rehabilitation, as well as any road improvement works. It also excluded the Shire’s expenditure on all sealed road assets.
The total expenditure for maintaining and reconstructing the Shire’s network of 915km of roads, based on a 10-year average, is actually $5.1 million a year, inclusive of the Shire’s success in obtaining external grant funding for roads, but excluding major projects such as the Margaret River Main Street upgrade, which provide significant additional road upgrades.
A further $700,000 per year (based on a 10-year average) is spent on maintenance and upgrade of paths, drainage, airports, bridges, jetties and foreshore facilities. Dr Markus Botte, director infrastructure services, Shire of Augusta-Margaret River