The Nationals Gippsland South PAEC Budget Roads Wire barries VicRoads

Gippsland road maintenance funds diluted to fix barriers

Money that should be used to fix potholes in Gippsland roads, crumbling road shoulders and cut roadside grass is being diverted to repair damaged wire rope barriers it has been revealed.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said Gippslanders will be alarmed that the meagre resources available to fix roads are being further diluted.

Under questioning at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC), of which Mr O’Brien is a member, VicRoads CEO Robyn Seymour revealed that repairs to wire rope barriers that have sustained damage are being funded from VicRoads routine maintenance funds as well as the TAC.

“Previously we’ve been advised that repair of barriers was fully funded by the TAC, which we all pay for through third party insurance on our car registrations.

“To hear that the VicRoads maintenance fund is also being plundered to repair barriers is a concern, particularly after the roll-out was botched by the Labor Government.

“Roadside barriers can be life-savers when placed in the right spot, but there have been major mistakes in their placement and location, with many placed too close to the road and hampering access for emergency services.

“VicRoads has acknowledged that with its recent commitment to scrap some planned barriers on the Princes Highway East after community outcry and strong representations by my colleague Tim Bull, the Member for Gippsland East.

“As the rollout of wire rope barriers continues, it can be expected that maintenance costs will also rise, further diluting money for actual road works.

“How many potholes will go unfixed, how many roadsides will have dangerously long grass because money is being spent on fixing wire rope barriers?” Mr O’Brien said.

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