Published: 06 October 2016
Author: Stringer Clark TAC Law team

Why have roads in the South-West been forgotten?

The roads in the Latrobe Valley and across most of regional Victoria are in fantastic condition compared to the South-West.

The journey between Portland and Hamilton is an increasing danger to drivers due to the poor state of the roads. We’re not clear on what has happened to cause this? While the weather conditions may have caused some damage, there has clearly been neglect in road maintenance over the years.

Where is the evidence of deteriorating roads?

The Stringer Clark team has witnessed growing problems with the roads as:

  • Locals are experiencing damage to their cars that is not covered by insurance unless the repairs are in excess of $1400;
  • Victims of road accidents suffering serious injury are seeking legal advice, and
  • We can physically see the damage and hazards on the roads.

While we’re aware there is record demand on the Australian Federal Government to resolve myriad transport and road issues, we encourage people in the South-West to voice their concerns to local MPs and media.

It seems road maintenance can no longer be a political issue dictated by voted parties on three year terms, as there needs to be a continuous work flow on our roads in order to keep citizens safe.

Who is impacted by the roads?

The team at Stringer Clark would prefer to see the roads fixed, than to manage the revolving door of cases involving human suffering that are caused by the poor state of local roads.

We recently met a young man who was injured when he encountered a large stretch of damaged road surface between South Australia and Victoria, and was thrown off his bike when encountering a series of bumps on the road. This resulted in serious injuries including a head injury and broken bones. The road sign that warned of a rough surface was covered by vegetation and together we are seeking compensation.

Another young female client suffered very serious injuries that were triggered by substandard road conditions on a minor road affected by heavy traffic associated with the logging industry that was not initially designed for commercial traffic. This accident resulted in a compound fracture in her leg and arm and she developed compartment syndrome, which was treated early. Sadly, these orthopaedic injuries are expected to last a lifetime.

It beggars belief that the state of the roads continues to cause ongoing trauma to young lives and families, and change is imperative. However, we will persist in voicing our concerns until change is made.

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