A motion and an amended motion in Gympie Regional Council calling for a review of the way council manages its road maintenance were both voted down, yet the complaints about rural roads is anything but abating.
A motion and an amended motion in Gympie Regional Council calling for a review of the way council manages its road maintenance were both voted down, yet the complaints about rural roads is anything but abating. Renee Pilcher

Why won't council allow a review of rural road management?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR BY CR HILARY SMERDON

AT THE last council meeting I moved a motion to have council's gravel road network independently assessed to determine their real condition and to look at council maintenance methods.

In my opinion a motion I thought reasonable, so council could finally know how good or bad our gravel roads really are, but support was rather hard to come by among my fellow councillors.

Gympie Councillor Hilary Smerdon. Gympie Regional Council
Gympie Councillor Hilary Smerdon. Gympie Regional Council Renee Albrecht

A large proportion of our budget is allocated to rural road maintenance and has been increased the last few years. You would think that this extra expenditure would result in an improvement in our gravel roads, resulting in less complaints.

Again in my opinion, certainly isn't the case in the western areas.

Why? Are our maintenance methods lacking? Do we need a better program so that more roads get maintenance, so our rates dollars get our residents better service?

These are the questions I was hoping we could have answered. People who live on these roads and travel them daily know the real condition of these roads. The extra expense they have to pay for vehicle repairs, one reason alone.

South Burnett Council did a similar assessment and has changed the way it assesses roads resulting in better standards of the gravel roads. The assessment wasn't a large spend and has resulted in their maintenance dollar being better spent.

As I have always said, the very least a rural ratepayer expects and deserves is a well maintained road to drive on.

HILARY SMERDON,

COUNCILLOR DIVISION 6

WORTH THE COST - LETTER TO THE EDITOR BY CR BOB FREDMAN

AT THE last meeting of council Cr Smerdon and I both moved motions that would see council employing an external agency to review our road maintenance practices.

We were supported by Crs Hartwig and Stewart but failed to get it across the line at this stage.

Councillor Bob Fredman. Gympie Regional Council
Councillor Bob Fredman. Gympie Regional Council Renee Albrecht

My intention was to get our road maintenance managers some external assistance in their craft.

This was a consequence of my concerns about the general condition of the network (roads, shoulders, drains and verges), and further concerns about some of the responses ratepayers in my area have received when they have reported a genuine maintenance issue.

It may cost some dollars, but in my opinion something has to change soon and this is the best way to do it.

Bob Fredman,

Councillor Division 8