Roads to Ruin group tackles Mulder


Transport companies in Warrnambool, south-west Victoria, are calling on the state government to improve major freight roads as their maintenance bills keep on increasing. <br /><br /> More than 20 companies have formed a campaign called Roads to Ruin, calling on Transport Minister Terry Mulder to fix fragile roads as potholes and eroded road shoulders put a strain on their vehicles.

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | February 28, 2012

Transport companies in Warrnambool, south-west Victoria, are calling on the state government to improve major freight roads as their maintenance bills keep on increasing.

More than 20 companies have formed a campaign called Roads to Ruin, calling on Transport Minister Terry Mulder to fix fragile roads as potholes and eroded road shoulders put a strain on their vehicles.

Campaign Director and Fry Cartage and Contracting co-owner Jodi Fry says 14 accidents have occurred on Woolsthorpe-Heywood Road near Broadwater. Her two sons were injured in separate accidents on that road.

The road is in its worst state ever during the 23 years she has been in the business, Fry says.

Ten major freight routes that are in urgent need of re-surfacing were also identified during a residents meeting yesterday.

"I have sent letters to VicRoads and Terry Mulder last year along with photos of the road surface – at that point in time, there had been three accidents on the road," Fry says.

"VicRoads said that work on the road would be completed by April – real work has not started on this road and that was supposed to be finished by last April.

"We need greater funding in south-west and we need these roads brought up to a condition where they’re safe and not just safe for residents but for the B-double transport that is supposed to operate on these roads," she adds.

"Our maintenance bill has gone up incredibly by 40 percent in the last 14 months. But it’s not just the cost of maintenance; it’s also the cost of down-time; while our trucks are off the road being repaired we’re losing business."

It is an added strain to businesses who are already finding it difficult to cope with registration costs, diesel increase and insurances.

"All these costs have to be passed on to the consumer and ultimately everybody pays," Fry says.

Opposition road spokesman Luke Donnellan says the government is underfunded.

"Our record was $3 billion over 10 years and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to get anywhere near that – country roads will be severely underdone," Donnellan says.

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