Surf Coast Shire Council has extended suspension of its Road Management Plan to continue prioritising responses and repairs following repeated damaging weather events.
Frequent extreme rainfall and high winds have led to widespread damage to roads, drains, bridges and trees, and extraordinary demand for repairs across the shire.
Council has received 590 weather-related customer requests since 13 October.
“We have a significant backlog of work and inspections to complete, and tasks are being dealt with as urgently as possible,” Council General Manager Community Life Gail Gatt said.
“Our crews are prioritising work with community safety the primary focus.
“In some cases recently-repaired infrastructure has been damaged again in the repeat weather events. Unsealed roads are deteriorating with the sustained wet and it is challenging to find suitably dry conditions for grading, and potholes can’t be repaired while road sub-surface is still wet, so repeat flooding presents difficulties.
“We understand that people might be frustrated with the ongoing weather and its impacts but ask everyone to be patient as we work through demands. We also ask people be respectful when liaising with Council officers.”
Since the start of September Aireys Inlet has recorded 49 rainy days and 325.2mm of rain, and Torquay has recorded 52 rainy days with 282.2mm.
Council’s Road Management Plan sets service standards for tending roads and other road-related assets including kerbs, footpaths, signs, drainage, bridges and vegetation.
Further suspension of the plan, until 31 January, recognises extraordinary circumstances and allows for temporary extension of regular response times.
Council encourages people seeking to report weather damage to lodge an online request at surfcoast.vic.gov.au/request. The request will be logged and the customer will receive a reference number.
Response times might be longer the usual due to the volume of customer requests.