Council request improvements to Tatiara roads

DISCUSSION: Tatiara District Council reached out to Minister for transport, infrastructure and local government, Stephan Knoll, about substandard roads in the Tatiara district.
DISCUSSION: Tatiara District Council reached out to Minister for transport, infrastructure and local government, Stephan Knoll, about substandard roads in the Tatiara district.

Tatiara District Council has reached out to Minister for transport, infrastructure and local government Stephan Knoll over the quality of some Tatiara roads.

CEO Anne Champness wrote a letter to Minister Knoll in June, highlighting the council's concerns over the current condition and safety of Naracoorte Road, Rowney Road, Frances Road and Ngarkat Highway.

The aforementioned roads have been a major concern for the council since 2016, stating the condition, width, and size of the transport vehicles using the roads as one of the "key concerns" at the time.

To highlight the concerns expressed by the council, a short video was created to urge the state government to increase the funding for the roads.

Three years on, the council has seen little to no change to the road funding, while the overall condition of the roads continues to deteriorate.

"To make matters worse, the past two years have seen a shift from the largest permitted on these roads being a 26m B-Double to 36.5m road trains," Ms Champness said.

"The introduction of larger heavy freight vehicles on substandard roads is greatly increasing our community's, and council's, concern."

Although the economic benefits of high productivity freight vehicles is a positive for the district, the increased number of larger vehicles on substandard roads creates a risk for Tatiara residents.

"The diminished tracking ability of the larger vehicles on the narrow roads adds an additional risk to road users," Ms Champness said.

Earlier this year, the Federal Government's Black Spot Program announced $780,000 of funding to improve Frances Road.

Ms Champness said the council was appreciative of the funding, but "further significant" funding is required to improve the standard of state government roads in the Tatiara district.

Last month, Minister Knoll replied to Ms Champness' letter, providing an update on upcoming plans for the roads in the Tatiara district.

"In February 2018, the Ngarkat Highway was assessed in accordance with the National Heavy Vehicle Law and found to be appropriate for vehicles up to 36.5 metres," Minister Knoll said.

He also mentioned the Marshall Government was committed to improving safety and re-installing the 110km/h speed limit on the highway between Bordertown and Pinnaroo in mid-2020.

The funding for the Frances Road improvement will result in 4km of shoulder sealing and audio tactile line marking in the 2019-20 financial year.

Minister Knoll said approximately $510,000 of works is being undertaken on Rowney Road, which will include shoulder sealing, hazard removal and the installation of a guard fence.

At a recent council meeting, councillors criticised Minister Knoll for being in denial of the state of the Ngarkat Highway.

Cr Miles Hannemann said if people actually drove a larger freight vehicle on the aforementioned roads, they would see why the council was so concerned.

No further projects have been announced for the roads council has highlighted, but councillors have vowed to continue to push for improved quality of Tatiara district roads.