SOUTH-WEST councils have supported RACV calls for the state government to urgently put more emphasis on repairing deteriorating roads.
RACV chairman Ross Herron revealed in his October address to members that the major maintenance cycle for non-metropolitan roads had been stretched out from 10 years to 40 to 50 years.
“This clearly is an untenable position,” he said.
“We call on the state government to return to a long term commitment to resurface 10 per cent of the state road network every year.”
Great South Coast municipalities group chairman Matt Makin, of Corangamite Shire, said there was clear evidence to show less money was being spent on road repairs.
“VicRoads is not repairing any pavement this year — it is only doing maintenance,” he told The Standard.
“Indications are their rate of renewal is closer to one in 100 years.
“There has been under-investment every year for the past 15 years.
“Successive governments can be blamed for this.”
Mr Herron cited a badly-damaged section of the Princes Highway between Warrnambool and Allansford where motorists avoided the left lane because of ruts and potholes.
“Unfortunately the legacy of inadequate maintenance funding in recent years has led to Victoria’s ageing roads deteriorating rapidly,” he said.
“State budget papers show that 7.5 per cent of non-metropolitan road pavements in 2011-12 were distressed due to flooding.
“Research has found that poor line marking, insufficient sight distance due to vegetation and the likes of potholes and ruts can increase the crash risk of motorists by a disturbing 20 to 30 per cent.
“Victoria clearly needs an increase in the annual funding for maintaining roads to a more sustainable level to ensure safe travel.
“Otherwise continued degradation of the road system will require massive funding in future to totally reconstruct roads.”
Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas, who has long criticised dwindling government funding for roads, estimated the resurfacing program had dropped to only two per cent of the state network.
“There definitely needs to be urgent funding,” he said yesterday. “The only way to fix the damage is to rehabilitate roads.”
Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the road asset management target for 2012-13 was $387.9m — higher than Labor’s 2010-11 target of $383.5m.