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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips


Australia's regional roads are the veins of our nation, providing the path for trucks to deliver goods to our capital cities and regional centres, as well as ensure important exports are made everyday.

Vital as they are, our regional roads are not being looked after - and the images above are a common sight around our country towns.

What's the State Government's solution? In SA and Victoria, it's to reduce speed limits - from 110 to 100km/h on 8 major roads in regional SA, and down to 70km/h on Victorian unsealed roads.

Here at Flow FM, we know that simply filling in a pothole or re-grading the road isn't a permanent fix. And it's not good enough - there needs to be more investment into our regional roads.

So we're making change happen and we need your help.

Send us your photos and the location of your worst regional roads using the hashtag #RoadRepairsNow, so we can send them to your local Shire/Council and get our roads repaired!

Here's Flowman's take on the situation.

Check out the response we've had already:

A listener from the Yorke Peninsula, SA said: "Here's a picture of Agery Hill road on the Yorke Peninsula, there's a salt lake that's flooded over the road and it's now closed the road off. It's been like this since end of May and will be until at least February next year. Was like this for most of last year as well. The local Yorke Peninsula council aren't worried about it they said it's not on their priorities list. But it is to us and all of our neighbours - this road leads to the main highway, and now it's closed, we can't get our grain out come Harvest time. Last year we had to cart all our grain an extra 30kms on dirt just to get to the highway again...Even roads that are less than 5 years old are full of pot holes again."

After contacting the Yorke Peninsula Council, a spokesperson told Flow FM the situation was a "difficult one" and that while remedial works were planned for winter, "after the last lot of rain, they're not going to happen". Residents will instead have to wait for "everything to evaporate".

When asked about long-term works, the spokesperson mentioned a pipe wouldn't help, and the only way to properly solve the problem would be by building up "more material above it all"...however there was no talk of those works occurring.

The spokesperson also said the road was "not affecting domestic" and only seemed to be a business issue in terms of grain being transported. Should that make a difference though?

Update 20/11/17:

Our listener from the Yorke Peninsula who originally alerted us to the flooding situation over Agery Hill Road has contacted Flow FM saying the road " is now able to be driven on again. It's the 20th November today, have to see how long it takes for the council to do anything. We've been in touch with them and they said they'll have a look but can't promise anything."

A Cororooke/Colac, Vic resident said:"These images are taken in the drive line right on someone's driveway, up the road, and at the newly sealed patch job across from the old Fonterra driveway. I stuck my foot in the holes just to emphasise how bad these holes are. I know the weather is bad, but a road that was patched and sealed last Friday is today already potholed and breaking up. I pay my car rego to Vic Roads just like every other road user, my gravel driveway is in better condition than this. I got new tyres put on my car today, and the guy at the tyre joint suggested I just stay at home and don't drive anywhere around Colac as they have had so many cars come through lately with buckled rims and suspension damage. Surely something can be done about this? I shouldn't have to consider buying a big 4wd to get me to town and back."

VicRoads have responded saying they are currently following up the request, and that "we are coming into our repair season and have crews out on the roads fixing potholes now. We actively prioritise repairs that are reported in to us."

A local from the Rupanyup, Vic region has shared the following photos of the the Stawell-Warracknabeal Rd, south of Rupanyup. "It's always been a shocking road, but over the last 9 months the deterioration of it has been dramatic due the the dodgy patch up jobs completed on it over the years. This is supposedly a 'B' class Highway, yet there are some dirt roads around here that are in better nick."

Flow FM is currently awaiting response from VicRoads on this Rupanyup request, as is Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad.

Flow FM recently spoke to Mr Broad about the state of the Stawell-Warracknabeal road, and all our roads within the Wimmera Mallee region. While Mr Broad confirmed some "patch-up works" have been completed along this stretch near Rupanyup, he described works as being well overdue.

A listener from the Jabuk South, SA region said their roads are a "disgrace", with another local resident sharing the following photos, featuring a beer bottle in one of the potholes.

The Coorong District Council have responded accordingly, with CEO Vincent Camell joining Anita on the Regional Roundup to discuss.

Mr Camell confirmed ripping, shaping and regrading will be occurring on these roads pictured within the next 6 weeks, and admitted these roads were identified as a "key failure" on the Council's network, particularly coming up to harvest season.

A Ceduna, SA resident said: the rail crossing heading west just out of Ceduna is "a joke" and "3 times they tried to fix it, [but the] best they can do is lower speed limit."

Local Member for Flinders, Peter Treloar, shared his views on the issue with Flow FM, talking particularly about the State Government lowering speed limits, and the rail crossing just out of Ceduna.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) have responded to this request, saying: "Following works undertaken to the track by the rail operator that altered the height of the rails through the crossing, DPTI is finalising the design of the rail crossing reinstatement.

"The speed limit has been reduced in the area to 40km/h for the safety and comfort of road users until all the works are complete, which is expected prior to the end of the year (weather permitting)."

A Yunta, SA local shared the following photos, saying: "There is a total of 6 of these bull dust holes on a 70km stretch of road. Would you believe [it was] only graded 4 months ago and they didn't fix any of them? Just made more with a dry grade. It is the Mount Victor Road out from Yunta and is disgusting, [with] no other road to use. Unfortunately photos don't show how bad they are. [They're] locally known as mini minor bull dust holes as they are so deep."

Flow FM is currently awaiting response from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) on the Yunta request.

A local from the Truro, SA area said the road between Truro and Dutton is poorly repaired each year, with same holes constantly occurring. "Gotta love the patch work," they added, sharing the following photos.

Flow FM is currently awaiting response from the Mid Murray Council on the Dutton/Truro request.

A truck driver that regularly travels our regional roads has alerted Flow to some particularly bad roads in need of repair around Pinnaroo, SA heading to Peake, SA; as well as the roads heading to Loxton around 12km north of Pinnaroo. Roads in this area are narrow, with no white fog lines on the side.

They also mentioned the roads were "very bad at Dadswell Bridge, Vic [along the] Western Highway A8, to the SA/VIC border" and along the A8 at Greenwald, Vic near Heywood, Vic on the Princes Highway. The truck driver added to their concern, saying: "I've recently had massages on my back due to the roughness we experience in trucks. Far worse then cars."

Someone who regularly travels along Burns Road at Coonalpyn, SA said their roads are also in need of repair: "I travel this road twice a day, and I swear it's slowly taking a toll on my car."

Flow FM did not receive any response from the Coorong District Council on the Coonalpyn request, however was been notified by the person who took the photographs that as of January 2018, the road has been graded.

"Hey guys just want to let you know the council came and graded the road, it's a lot better than it was. A big thank you if this was your doing," the message read.

A Pinnaroo local shared the following photos with Flow FM saying "It's official: the Browns Well Highway speed limit has been reduced to 100kmh. On a Saturday. Meanwhile a measure designed to improve road safety has not improved the state of the surface one iota. This road is road train rated. But the road is too narrow. The shoulders in poor repair and the surface is crumbling. If this measure was a genuine attempt to improve road safety there would be commensurate investment in the state of repair of the road."

After contacting the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) in SA, they responded to the Pinnaroo request, saying:

"The State Government is responsible for the provision and maintenance of around 13 000 kilometres of arterial roads across the state, with about 11 000 kilometres of these roads in the rural area.

In November 2017, the South Australian Government reduced the speed limit on eight high speed rural roads, including Brown's Well Highway from 110km/h to 100km/h.

This reduction was the result of an extensive review into rural speed limits, inclusive of community consultation. Reducing the speed limit by 10 km/h on these roads is estimated to reduce the serious injury crash risk by 22 to 24 percent over a five year period.

The State Government has invested significant funds into Brown’s Well Highway since 2012, with further commitments for works in 2017/18 and 2018/19.These are shown in the table below.

The State Government’s Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan identifies road widening and shoulder sealing of Browns Well Highway in the long term (timeframe 15+ years). This initiative is expected to further improve the safe operation of these roads.

As has occurred in Pinnaroo, Councils have implemented local heavy vehicle bypasses on local roads to reduce the impact upon the local community within the township.

Councils have the opportunity to submit proposals to the Commonwealth Government to fund the upgrading of these local roads, such as the Special Local Roads Program. DPTI is not aware if a submission has been provided in this instance."

Someone from the Nandaly, Vic area has contacted Flow FM with the following photo saying: "First load of grain out of the paddock and got bogged in the truck."

Flow FM is following up with the Buloke Shire Council.

Streaky Bay, SA residents have shared the following photos of Jessie Flat Road 3km out of town. A local described the situation saying: "10km like this on the school bus winter road is very slippery! Bus has slid off road several times over the last couple of years! This needs to be looked at!"

Another local said: "Has been like this way too long!"

Flow FM is following up with the District Council of Streaky Bay.

As for the Tarlee/Alma, SA roads and potholes pictured at the top of the article, the Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council had this to say: "Yes repairs are scheduled to take place in the next months with the storm damage funding Council has received. There is an allocation of approx $45,000 to carry out the works.

"I am not sure where this fits in with the harvest schedule.

"Vandeleur Road was included in the 2017/18 budget to be sealed, but Council chose not to do and upgrades this year due to the flood damage repairs. It will be re listed next year in the budget requests.

"The Tarlee/Alma roads have been included in the 2030 regional transport plan which will assist in future funding for the roads."

It has been confirmed that repairs on these roads have begun.

Flow FM will continue to send your pictures and complaints to your local Councils/Shires and keep you up to date with the progress of our regional roads on air and online. #RoadRepairsNow

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