I once again direct these comments at the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and once again it is in relation to the state of the roads in South-West Coast.
Over the last few weeks I have been speaking with transport companies in my electorate that are the backbone of the local economy and state economy — the people who take goods to market. They are all reporting to me huge increases in repairs and maintenance on their vehicles, all due to the shocking state of our roads. One company has reported product being broken and damaged during transport. We are not talking glasses or something fragile here — we are actually talking about bluestone.
Another company, Kelly Logistics, does the run from the port of Portland to the woodchip mill and back again. Their repairs and maintenance bill normally sits at around $28 000 to $30 000 a month, but over the past 12 months that figure has increased by about $45 000 per month, and is now sitting at around $70 000. The company’s owner, Tony Noske, has been involved in the transport industry since 1956 and told me he has not seen roads in this bad a condition — ever.
He also said the main problem is drainage — water sitting there, not draining away and in turn soaking the road sub-base. When crews come to fix a surface failure they do it well, but because they do not fix the underlying problem with the wet sub-base the surface fails again within a matter of weeks. Mr Noske says the simplest way to stop the cycle happening is to fix the road sub-base and then fix the drains and culverts and keep them maintained.