Road maintenance safe despite staff cutbacks

The axing of 450 people from the ranks of VicRoads will not affect road maintenance services, the transport department says

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | August 21, 2012

The axing of 450 people from the ranks of VicRoads will not affect road maintenance services, the transport department says.

VicRoads spokeswoman Caitlin Barratt says the department will continue to repair roads where needed, contrary to what Opposition spokesman on transport Luke Donnellan claims.

He believes the axing of jobs and a reduction in funding to the department will greatly affect road maintenance services.

"Roads throughout regional and metropolitan Victoria are crumbling and the Baillieu Government’s response has been to sack 450 VicRoads staff, cut maintenance spending and float the option of outsourcing vital VicRoads functions," Donnellan says.

"You cannot halve road maintenance funding and expect that roads throughout Victoria will remain safe for motorists – particularly in regions that have experienced extensive flooding."

Barratt says VicRoads is currently developing options for an organisational restructure to ensure the department continues to deliver engineering and road safety services.

"Service delivery will not be affected and there are no proposals to close regional offices," she says.

"In the past 18 months, a number of major flood and storm events have occurred throughout Victoria, causing the surface of many roads to deteriorate more rapidly than usual.

"VicRoads’ annual maintenance prioritisation process is based on minimising risks now and into the future and maximising the service to the community in the most cost effective manner."

Barrett says VicRoads regularly inspects the arterial road network and in most cases carries out quick repairs after a hazard is reported.

"For any road that is in poor condition, VicRoads undertakes investigations to determine the most effective treatment. Until a solution can be implemented VicRoads continues to consider motorists safety with interim treatments, such as filling in pot holes, and speed management."

The Government recently announced it will cut the size of the public service, axing 3,615 jobs across 13 departments. This includes 175 people within the Department of Transport.

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