Concern over district roads
The condition of ‘local’ roads and the role it plays in regional motorist safety has continued to draw criticism from Member for Lowan Emma Kealy.
Ms Kealy said she was frustrated, claiming Roads Minister and Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford was dismissive in a belief that deterioration of district roads was having an impact on driver safety.
“The minister is saying road surfaces cannot be blamed for our escalating road toll and increase in motor vehicle accidents,” Ms Kealy said.
“Recently Victoria Police confirmed that poor weather and ‘road conditions’ caused a motor vehicle roll-over on Blue Ribbon Road at Kalkee.
“While thankfully no-one was seriously injured in this crash, it is just another example of our poorly maintained country roads putting lives at risk.
“For many of our local residents our regional road network is their daily workplace.
“Local truck drivers rightfully point out that the road network is their workplace.
“Everyone is entitled to a safe working place and the deteriorating condition of our local roads is certainly not that.”
Ms Kealy said people in her electorate ‘constantly’ contacted her about circumstances on country roads.
“Some feel they are putting
their lives at risk going about their daily lives or doing a job they love,” she said.
“This would not be tolerated in any other workplace and it certainly shouldn’t be tolerated in western Victoria, which the RACV named as having the worst roads in the state.
“Many roads in Lowan are riddled with potholes, have crumbling and muddy shoulders or are too narrow, with locals regularly reporting damage to vehicles, agricultural machinery and many near misses.
“To hear that the Vicroads maintenance fund is also being plundered to repair roadside barriers is a concern, particularly after the botched roll-out by the Labor government.
“As the rollout of wire rope barriers continues it is expected that maintenance costs will rise, further diluting money for actual road works.
“Lowan residents just want our roads fixed properly to give locals the roads they are entitled to and deserve.”
“Local truck drivers rightfully point out that the road network is their workplace. Everyone is entitled to a safe working place and the deteriorating condition of our local roads is certainly not that” – Emma Kealy