By Mitchell Clarke
An investment of $11 million on road works programs for 2019/20 has been announced by Baw Baw Shire Council.
Across two consultation phases, almost 250 submissions identifying the services and infrastructure which matter most, with roads featured as a clear priority.
The works will include 235,000 square metres of resealing across 80 sealed roads and 100,000 square metres resheeting across more than 25 unsealed roads.
Baw Baw mayor Mikaela Power said this year’s roadwork program really “demonstrates council’s commitment to investing in the areas that matter most to residents“.
“With a total annual budget of under $100 million, Baw Baw Shire Council is responsible for the maintenance of more than $615 million in existing infrastructure and the delivery of more than 100 vital community services,“ Cr Power said.
“Sound financial management, strategic prioritisation of projects and responsible allocation of resources is crucial if we are to meet our community’s needs now while simultaneously paving a smooth way for future generations in Baw Baw.“
With the investment accounting for more than 1/7th of council’s total budgeted expenditure for the year, additional safety works include the renewal of line marking, damaged guardrails and replacing missing and damaged road signs.
Deputy mayor Danny Goss said it’s all about strategic deployment of resources to meet community expectations.
“We’re tasked with maintaining a network of roads totaling nearly 1,800km. For context, the drive from Melbourne to Brisbane is under 1,700km,“ Cr Goss said.
“Add in the fact that 82 per cent of our network is comprised of rural roads with many of them unsealed, and the challenges are obvious – especially given the amount of rain our region experiences each winter.
“But these challenges are not something we’re shying away from. We’re tackling them head on, and in line with our community’s priorities.“
Baw Baw Shire Council is additionally seeking part funding through the State Government’s Fixing Country Road’s program to reconstruct 1km of Yarragon-Shady Creek Road, and to reconstruct and widen three sections of Neerim North Road.
For a full program of the works, visit: http://www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/About-Council/Major-Projects/Capital-Works-Program.