Country road network concern

23 Jan 2018 The Free Press, Kilmore, VIC (General News) A PARLIMENTARY inquiry has been launched to understand just how VicRoads has managed country roads. The roads have become a focal point for residents across the region in recent times. Victoria Police also released data confirming country roads was recording higher numbers of road deaths when compared to the city. The Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee are currently examining a number of issues which will form part of the VicRoads inquiry, including how effect the organisation is, the existing funding model and how regional residents are consulted. Committee chair Geoff Howard said this was an important step toward helping reduce the deterioration of Victorian roads. This is an important inquiry for communities across Victoria who relies on well-maintained country roads in the conduct of their daily lives, he said. As part of the inquirys terms of reference, the Committee is looking into the option of creating a specific Country Roads organisation and a separate Metropolitan Roads body. The Committee will be considering how country roads should be managed into the future, to ensure that the needs of people throughout regional Victoria are being met. Through the submissions we receive and the public hearings we hold, the Committee will be collecting evidence from people across Victoria. VicRoads last year launched the Pavement Management Strategic Plan to try plan a coordinated response to deteriorating roads. With a population growth by more than 2 per cent each year, adding more cars than ever before, the plan is hoping to identify critical, needed and desired works. While some are concerned about the state of the roads, Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said she is satisfied with VicRoads approach to communicating with the region about their approach to roadworks. Across the board, VicRoads have been getting out and about listening to the people, she said. They explained to me that by doing this they are given a great understanding of the more important roads and what people think. But they understand it is important for the community to understand what is happening and why. VicRoads attended workshops regularly around the state last year, taking them as far north as the Mallee. But while the management of VicRoads were able to speak to some people, Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said members of her community are still raising concerns with her regularly. The issues are significant and are brought up to me right across the region, she said. In fact, peoples concern about the deteriorating roads is the most common thing people contact me about, so it is huge. For a long time we have been saying fixing the roads will save country lives. county Victorians are over represented in the road toll. Caption Text: Resurface: Upgrades continue around the region. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work