Shire’s po­si­tion on roads and main­te­nance clar­i­fied

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters -

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

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