Since October last year, Ararat Rural City Council has had to spend more than $500,000 on repairs for multiple road failures.
A recent report on the council's Capital Works Program stated that there had been "unexpected and unfunded capital works carried out to remedy serious road failures during the current harvest period".
These road failures and subsequent repairs occurred on Tatyoon North Road, Darlington-Carranballac Road, and the Eurambeen Streatham Road and Mount William Road intersection.
Combined, these works cost the council more than $550,000.
Council's chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said many of the region's roads have previously been undervalued as they were not expected to be part of crucial freight routes.
"Ararat Rural City Council maintains a rural road network of over 2000 km. These roads are essential for people who travel long distances on our roads every day and vital first and last mile routes for agricultural freight," he said.
"Our most recent emergency works at Tatyoon North Road is one of these last mile routes which takes heavy freight, carrying grain produce from across the Wimmera Southern Mallee," he said.
"Many of Ararat Rural City's local roads are main freight routes due to a lack of alternative infrastructure. The delayed Murray Basin Freight Rail project could greatly alleviate the strain on our local roads.
"Competitive funding models impacting our ability to invest, and a previous lack of acknowledgement of our roads as significant linkages for freight has caused our roads to deteriorate faster than anticipated."
As part of the council's strategy to adapt to the recent repairs council's cost, the construction component of the Pollands Bridge project to the 2021/2022 budget.
However, Dr Harrison said the council's expenditure on these repairs would not affect the other services it provides.
"Each year Council meticulously plans capital works investments with the knowledge that changes to road condition will occur. Extensive work has been done to prioritise projects and ensure that we are still delivering as much as possible with the available funding," he said.
"These repairs will not impact other council services that are currently offered. While some anticipated projects have been rescheduled, Ararat Rural City Council is still on track to deliver more investments into roads and infrastructure than initially planned in the budget."
However, Dr Harrison said it was crucial Ararat and other council's of a similar profile received more financial support from the higher tiers of government to help maintain their roads.
"A lack of funding over many years from competitive funding models, sunsetting of programs and caps on allocations impede Council's ability to keep pace with the maintenance demand on our roads," he said.
"A better understanding of the role rural councils play in the construction and maintenance of roads that support industry freight is required to attract a more equitable share of government funding.
"For rural areas, an additional million dollars for council to invest in infrastructure would have a great impact on our road network and economy. However, for some metropolitan areas, it's parking metre change."
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