Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Whitfield Road dangers raised in Parliament

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The dangerous condition of sections of the Wangaratta-Whitfield Road was brought to the attention of the Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor, in Parliament last week by The Nationals Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes.

This action follows on from Dr Sykes writing to the Minister and conveying the concerns of local road users including Gwenda Canty, President of the King Valley Tourism Association, Wayne Overson, earthmoving contractor from Cheshunt; Alan Hildebrand, Secretary Moyhu Branch of the Victorian Farmers Federation; Michael Newton of JA Newton Bus Services who drives the school children up that road daily, and David Maples, President of the King Valley Vignerons.

Dr Sykes said, “The Minister for Transport acknowledged the poor condition of the road noting that over 160 heavy log trucks travel the road each week placing considerable extra strain on the ageing road.

“The Minister has also indicated that VicRoads are exploring options for ongoing maintenance and upgrading of the road.”

Dr Sykes continued, “The Minister’s response was fine as far as it went but the crunch comes when it comes to prioritising this work alongside thousands of kilometres of deteriorating country roads and funding the works necessary to restore safe and effective roads.

“What is required is a substantial injection of money. I suggested to Mr Batchelor that 1% of GST income (approx. $80m p.a.) be committed to country roads.

“Another option is to use the $60m p.a. spent by Government spin doctors and media campaigns for country roads. Another would be to use some of the $600m from Victoria’s share of the proceeds from the sale of the Snowy Hydro Scheme.”

Dr Sykes concluded, “A safe Wangaratta-Whitfield Road is essential for day-to-day travel of locals, businesses and visitors. I will work with the local community to achieve this outcome”.

Greg’s Comment:

Click on the photo above, taken a week ago just a day after repairs were carried out within a couple of metres, to see the extent of the surface breakdown. It might help the cause if the Minister for Transport could see such photos.

With the grape harvest beginning this week, the Whitfield Road will really be put to the test over the next twelve weeks. Somehow, I think we may be hearing more about this issue.

Written by Greg Naylor

14 February 2006 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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