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Regional roads in dire health: Noske Group

Leading trucking firm demands government action to fix dilapidated regional roads, saying they are unsafe and unproductive

By Ruza Zivkusic | March 25, 2011

A leading Victorian trucking firm has demanded government action to repair dilapidated regional roads, saying they pose a safety risk and are unproductive.

Noske Group Executive Director Tony Noske says the company’s vehicle maintenance costs have gone up by 40 percent over the last three years mostly due to poor quality of roads.

The company’s 50 drivers transport export and manufacturing products around Victoria daily, but Noske says the poor state of roads are hampering operations.

“Because of the state of the roads my drivers have got to travel slower, way below the speed limit,” Noske says.

“In a lot of places it’s not safe to drive the truck at 100km/h so they’ve got to travel slower and the amount of damage that’s been done to trucks by the quality of roads is a major cost to the transport industry.

“At the moment the roads have deteriorated so badly that a lot of roads aren’t really safe to operate on any longer.”

Noske says Princes Highway between Geelong and the South Australian border are in vital need of repairs, along with the Western Highway between Ballarat and the South Australian border.

Noske also wants the Victorian Government to upgrade the Hamilton Highway between Geelong and Hamilton.

“With such a focus on road safety and reducing accidents, all the government needs to do is start focusing on spending some money on regional roads,” he says.

Noske argues that government investment will improve safety and transport efficiency, in turn helping get goods to market a lot quicker. He says funding is crucial to giving regional Australia world class roads.

“The current government when it was opposition was very outspoken about the lack of action by the previous government so I guess the challenge for the current government is to stand up and do what they wanted the previous government to do,” Noske says.

Although the company has not had a single accident or lost-time injury due to the state of some regional routes, Noske says many of his drivers struggle.

“They tell me that the amount of stress they go through every day driving on roads where you’ve got major ruts, pot holes, drops off the edge of the road. The amount of concentration and stress on the driver all the time is unnecessary,” he says.

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