VicRoads a ‘mess’

Hume council (Damjan Janevski). 336543_01

Zoe Moffatt

The Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) has been slammed by Hume councillors for mowing around a dead fox, with its removal only coming after the mayor sent a photo of the animal’s corpse to the relevant minister.

Councillors were also perplexed by DTP’s refusal to trim grass along roadside curbs or pick up litter when mowing state goverment owned land.

At a meeting on Monday, October 23, councillors criticised correspondence from Roads and Road Safety Minister Melissa Horne, which included a letter regarding road maintenance in the municipality.

Star Weekly understands a dead fox was located on Pascoe Vale Road, earlier in the year.

The then Hume Mayor Joseph Haweil said to get the dead fox removed, he had to send the minister a picture of it.

“It should have been removed when it was first mowed, instead they (DTP workers) mowed around it,” he said.

“You’ll be happy to know I have sent a deliciously written letter in response to these correspondences from Minister Horne, including a dossier of various photographs.

“I, in fact, personally wrote the letter myself, given how polite and diplomatic our officers were, I thought it had to be stronger.

“DTP, in particular VicRoads, is an absolute mess and to find out they don’t do curbs and edges as part of mowing is absurd.”

Speaking to the letter, fellow councillor Jack Medcraft criticised DTP for not removing the litter and trimming the curbs and edges.

“[They] haven’t done any of the mowing and [they] haven’t removed the rubbish, and they haven’t fixed the curbside,” he said.

“[They] just let the grass grow over. Of course it said…as part of program mowing activities, we do not undertake edge trimming.

“If you’re cutting the grass and making it worth looking at, surely you cut the edging.”

Star Weekly understands that the dead fox was removed on July 10. A DTP spokesperson said due to health and safety reasons, mowing crews do not dispose of dead animals.

“Our contractors reported the dead fox to the appropriate crew and it was later removed,” the spokesperson said.

It is understood that DTP does not undertake routine edge trimming as part of the scheduled grass mowing program, but it may be undertaken in instances where vegetation is impacting drainage.

The spokesperson indicated that it is standard procedure that litter removal is undertaken prior to grass mowing.