The shocking state of south-west roads has forced the CFA to issue a warning to members to drive carefully to avoid damage to appliances, Member for South West Coast and Shadow Minister for Rural Roads Roma Britnell says.
In a pager message sent last Friday, CFA District 5 HQ issued a warning to all members in District 5, saying:
“When driving, please be mindful of the potholes and deterioration of roads in the SW. Use care when driving to incidents to avoid potential damage to appliances, and possible slower response times.”
Ms Britnell said the fact the CFA was now warning its members via its pager system about the conditions of our roads showed how perilous the situation has become and should sound warning bells for the Andrews Labor Government.
“The fact an emergency service is now warning it’s members to be careful for their own safety and to prevent damage to CFA vehicles is a shameful reflection on the state of our roads,” Ms Britnell said.
“We had a big amount of rain overnight last Thursday, but it wasn’t an event we haven’t seen before. We live in a high rainfall region – it’s not unexpected or unusual.
“But what we are seeing when these events happen now is a significant lack of preventative maintenance on our rural road network.
“In 2017, The Victorian Auditor General found that road maintenance is a more expensive reactive approach rather than proactive maintenance which delivers better value for money. It also found there is no accountability for repair work done.
“We are seeing the results of that now and Labor still hasn’t acted on the recommendations to make the system better.
“Labor has been in Government for 17 of the last 20 years – Labor has been in charge of the bank accounts and in charge of the departments responsible for our roads.
“The fact the CFA is so concerned it has to send a message to all its members should be yet another warning sign for the Andrews Labor Government that things are dire in the south west and action is desperately needed.”