Waiting on roads report


Zoe Moffatt

Macedon Ranges council has delayed releasing its report into the Management of Unsealed Roads within Township Boundaries Report, saying the Christmas and New Year weather events interrupted the work.

Council manages and maintains 76 kilometres of unsealed roads within township boundaries, and said it receives a high number of customer requests annually regarding dust, maintenance, and requests to seal these unsealed roads.

Speaking to the motion on March 27, council’s director of assets and operations Shane Walden said council resolved on August 23, 2023 to receive the report from officers by March 31, 2024.

“[It would detail] an options analysis complete with recommendations and costings for managing unsealed roads within township boundaries,” he said.

“Our staff began working on the investigations and the issues and opportunities regarding the recommendations and costs.

“This work was interrupted by the time commitment in responding to the rain events over the Christmas and New Year period and the follow up activity following these events.”

Mr Walden said the investigations to date include engaging an unsealed roads specialist to conduct a comprehensive review of the management practices associated with the unsealed road network.

“There will be a report that will offer an assessment of the current existing unsealed road network condition.

“It will analyse whether the network’s condition is anticipated to improve or deteriorate based on the effectiveness of the current maintenance program and the budget allocations.”

According to the council agenda, officers are currently investigating a review and update of the special charge scheme policy, dust suppression trial, operational and management review and benchmarking of current unsealed road practices, and unsealed road materials testing.

Cr Mark Ridgeway said this is an issue which has been close to his heart and one he has been keen to see some progress on over time.

“I find it a bit ironic that here I am seconding a motion to extend the presentation time for another couple of months,” he said.

“I think under the circumstances that it is really important that we get it right and there is certainly work that has to get done before we can actually get this presented to us.

“We’re going down the right path and it’s great to see it happening.”

An options analysis and recommendations for managing unsealed roads within township boundaries will now be presented at a scheduled council meeting prior to September 30, 2024.