Gippsland South The Nationals South Gippsland Road Maintenance Road funding state government ROad works Landslip Natural Disaster

Landslip repair delay unacceptable: O’Brien

Delays caused by the State Government to repair of landslips on roads in South Gippsland are completely unacceptable according to The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien has written to the State Government asking for an explanation and a review of arrangements that have left roads closed in areas of South Gippsland for over 12 months.

“In September 2019 a significant storm event led to landslips that closed roads in a number of locations in the hills of South Gippsland.

“The road closures were quickly declared a natural disaster and as such, could be repaired with funding from state and federal governments.

“However, it has recently come to my attention that works have not proceeded due to a near 12-month delay in approval from the State Government for the South Gippsland Shire to go to tender.

“That local communities have been waiting so long for the State Government bureaucrats to tick off on a tender process it completely unacceptable.

“People have been inconvenienced and been caused significant distress by the closure of these roads while waiting for the repairs to occur.

“I understand the State Government needs to tick off on the contract process to ensure probity and value for money. This seems to be unnecessary given the existing requirements for these checks and balances on local councils.”

Mr O’Brien has called on the Minister for Emergency Services, Lisa Neville to review the reason for the delays and revise the process for future claims.

“It’s completely unacceptable that people have to wait 12 months to have their road open because of some bureaucratic box ticking.

“I have no doubt if a landslip occurred on the Monash Freeway or a metropolitan major road there would be no acceptance of a delay of this magnitude. Neither should there be for country roads in South Gippsland.

“The Government needs to explain these delays and apologise to the community that is most affected.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien at one of the landslips near Mount Eccles which has still not been repaired nearly 12 months on.

(photo taken pre-mask rules)

 

1 October 2020

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