BIG PLANS AHEAD: South Burnett Regional Council's Mayor Keith Campbell, Councillor Gavin Jones and CEO Mark Pitt discuss future plans.
BIG PLANS AHEAD: South Burnett Regional Council's Mayor Keith Campbell, Councillor Gavin Jones and CEO Mark Pitt discuss future plans. Matt Collins

'Time to shut up and deliver': How council will fix roads

A NUMBER of South Burnett residents have voiced their concern over the recent changes to their rates, in particularly the road levy being added into the general rates.

Councillor Gavin Jones said whilst he didn't initially agree with incorporating the road levy into general rates he understood the need for this to happen.

"My personal opinion is that the road infrastructure levy should not have been introduced as a levy and that council should have made the hard call early in the piece to increase the general rate," he said.

In the past, the condition of some South Burnett roads has been an area of contention however mayor Keith Campbell said he was confident the allocation of increased funds for roads this financial year will bring great improvements.

"The reality from a council point of view, in the past there was not enough money available and more people complaining about their roads therefore there wasn't the money or the resources to fix these roads to the level required," he said.

"The additional funds received have been targeted towards a major plan for council to substantially improve our rural road network."

Cr Jones is the portfolio representative for roads and drainage and he said now that the required finances are in place, his team can now get to work upgrading roads to the desired level.

"We've made the hard call on the budget, it's now time to shut up and deliver," he said.

With the assistance of the latest road asset condition assessment system (RACAS), Cr Jones said our region's roads will now be properly maintained and managed with latest state of the art equipment.

"The system can assess the state of the road and send a report back to the office so we can see exactly what needs to be done," he said.

The RACAS system will record the drivability, the profile and the percentage of gravel remaining on unsealed roads.

"We are about to hit something pretty special," Cr Jones said.

Council will be investing $4.5M on gravel re-sheeting rural roads this financial year.

Cr Jones said parts of the region are already enjoying this improved roads program and the gravel re-sheeting program.

"As part of South Burnett Regional Council's gravel re-sheeting program, work has been progressing on Glencoe Road Coverty, Coverty Road Coverty and TH Burns Road Ballogie," he said.

"The construction crew who have been working on these roads are currently undertaking maintenance work on other roads within our network."

Cr Campbell said they were committed to a long term approach to South Burnett road maintenance.

"We need to put new gravel on those roads so the roads can hold their condition for a much longer period of time." he said.

"It's all part of the re-sheeting process."

South Burnett Regional Council will be holding listening tours across the region in late September and October to take on board the opinions of residents and share updates on topics such as the budget, rates and roads.

Dates and venues will be announced shortly.