Policy in place to repair rough spots on rural roads

18 February 2022

A new policy to repair dangerous rural roads has been adopted by Ipswich City Council, which will see council crews undertake repairs to dangerous hazards on unmaintained roads when crews are in the area and it’s safe to do so.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chairperson Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding agreed to the policy at its 10 February meeting, following strong advocacy from councillors representing rural districts, and spending in the 2021-22 Budget on upgrades and maintenance to rural roads.

“A number of councillors, and members of the community, have consistently raised the safety of rural roads as something that we need to address as a city, and this new policy puts in place a framework for council’s road crews to take sensible steps to repair obvious hazards,” Mayor Harding said.

“Council was proud to include funding of $1.5 million in the 2021-22 Budget for upgrades to unmaintained roads, and this is the next step in making these roads safer for all users.

“This new policy is the missing piece road users have been calling for while they wait for planned road upgrades, as hazards caused by storm damage, traffic incidents and erosion significantly impact rural road safety.

“Rural roads are more susceptible to damage and without urgent repairs by council when hazards are identified they can deteriorate and impede residents’ access to postal and waste services, emergency vehicle access and connection with our community.

“This is a great outcome for our rural communities, and a result of the strong advocacy of Division 1 Councillors Jacob Madsen and Sheila Ireland, and Division 4 Councillors Kate Kunzelmann and Russell Milligan, on behalf of their residents.”

Mayor Harding said more than $1.5 million will be spent on upgrading unmaintained roads over the next three years across the city as part of the 2021-24 Capital Works Program.

“Council has already committed $300,000 to upgrading Waters Road near Calvert to a maintained road standard. The road is heavily used by the local community and these planned works will greatly improve the usability of the current gravel road,” said Mayor Harding.

Another $200,000 has been allocated to planning and designing unmaintained road sections around the city to a maintained gravel road standard.

In the 2021-22 budget, council outlined the following planned projects for inclusion in the three-year capital works program:

  • Borallon Station Road - $200,000 for design and $1.4 million for construction. Extensive design and construction works are planned to upgrade the road from its current gravel to a constructed sealed road
  • Waters Road Calvert - $300,000 to upgrade from an existing unmaintained unformed gravel road to a maintained gravel road standard

The Repairs to Unmaintained Roads Policy was brought before council and endorsed last week and replaces the previous unmaintained roads policy repealed in 2019.

Council’s $26 million road maintenance and rehabilitation budget for 2021-22 includes allocations to fill more than 5,000 potholes, repair and resurface a network of more than 1,500km of sealed roads, maintain about 260km of gravel roads and ensure more than 26,000 streetlights are shining bright across the region.

Project information and updates for all works under construction or planned within council’s three-year capital portfolio are available on an interactive map at maps.ipswich.qld.gov.au/civicprojects