‘Blood will be on their hands’: councillor’s fury at road neglect

The state government will have blood on its hands if action is not taken quickly to fix the region’s roads, a south-west councillor says.

Corangamite Shire councillor Simon Illingworth singled out the Cobden-Port Campbell Road as one of the worst in the shire, with deteriorating sections of pavement creating safety hazards.

Corangamite Shire councillor Simon Illingworth and mayor Jo Beard with the sign showing the money still needed from the state government to fix the arterial road network.

Corangamite Shire councillor Simon Illingworth and mayor Jo Beard with the sign showing the money still needed from the state government to fix the arterial road network.

“Only recently I was informed of a serious motorcycle crash along this section of the road. Is it going to take a fatality before we see some action?” he said.

“Blood will be on their hands if they don’t act soon and fix the appalling condition of our roads.”

Corangamite Shire estimates $55 million in funding is needed to bring its state government-managed roads up to scratch.

Cr Illingworth said many of the crumbling roads, like the Cobden-Port Campbell Road, were a key link for tourists between the Great Ocean Road and Princes Highway.

“Putting up signs and completing temporary treatments has clearly not worked so it is time for a major funding announcement from the state government for our roads,” he said.

“The situation is a disgrace and I call on the state government to stop playing games and fix their roads in the Corangamite Shire.

“The government is more than happy to commit huge amounts of funding to new roads, tunnels and rail projects in metro Melbourne and marginal electorates across the state, yet they continue to show disrespect for rural residents by failing to maintain their arterial roads to acceptable standards.”

His comments are backed up by Corangamite Shire mayor Jo Beard, who said locals and visitors were frustrated with poor signage and a lack of action.

“For over 12 months inadequate signage has been in place along different sections of (Cobden-Port Campbell) road which doesn’t do enough to warn drivers. The temporary treatments are a waste of money and only a band-aid approach to a problem that continues to get worse.

“There is no way people in Melbourne would put up with a road in this condition so why should we have to.”

VicRoads earlier this week announced it was soon beginning work to fix a landslip on the Cobden-Port Campbell Road. A VicRoads spokesperson said engineering work was being undertaken on other sections of the road to complete more repair work.