Potholes Cost Port Stephens Ratepayers In Vehicle Repairs


FRUSTRATION is hitting our roads as residents are hit with the cost of vehicle repairs after hitting potholes on Port Stephens Council roads.

One resident has applied unsuccessfully to have repairs to his vehicle reimbursed by Council after a pothole incident.

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While we all know that Port Stephens has seen some significant weather events in the past year, we do have a certain expectation for the condition of our roads, after all that is part of what our rates are supposed to pay for.

However many of Port Stephens roads are a patchwork of potholes and repairs on top of repairs, leaving many residents scratching their heads as to why these potholes haven’t been successfully repaired.

Port Stephens Councillor Giacomo Arnott told News Of The Area, “Council’s failure to properly invest in our roads is leading to locals needing to foot the cost of damage to their vehicles.

“It is unfair and this Council gets a big F on their report card for maintaining local roads,” he said.

The issue of potholes has become a cornerstone in the upcoming Council Elections with Mayoral candidate Leah Anderson stating, “My team’s top priority will be to fix the mistakes of this Council, and properly invest in our roads.

“We will fix potholes faster and better, and investigate ways to better do pothole works so that our roads stay stronger for longer.”

Meanwhile drivers need to stay alert to the dangers that potholes create on our roads and cross their fingers that it won’t be their car that is damaged on the roads.

A spokesperson for Port Stephens Council said, “The Civil Liability Act 2002 is the framework Councils insurers use to guide claims of negligence where Council is the roads authority.

“This protection provides statutory recognition that Council resources are finite and must be prioritised to identify and manage the risks to our stakeholders and allow for prioritised treatment according to available resources.

“Public safety is Council’s primary consideration in our road maintenance program, incorporating this framework for inspections, assessment and repair in priority order.

“It is noted and understood that potholes are an ordinary part of the road lifecycle that Council factors into resourcing plans.

“However, weather events can cause a rise in damage and increase the demand for maintenance.

“In periods of wet weather our crews are out inspecting, assessing and repairing our road network in priority order.

“Council closely monitors the condition of our roads, particularly following significant weather events and persistent wet weather periods.

“We have added an additional road maintenance team in this period and are responding to issues according to the risks presented.

“In some instances, Council makes the decision to undertake immediate repairs to make a site safe, allowing our crews to attend to a larger number of sites and allow properly designed small scale rehabilitation projects to be prepared.

“Following extreme weather events, Council would advise drivers to ensure they drive to the weather and road conditions.

“During or after poor weather, this is particularly important as visibility may be reduced and the ability of drivers to assess the road conditions can be diminished.

“Council has voted to apply special and additional funding for the current financial year to assist in repairing our roads.

“An additional $3 million has been added to the road rehabilitation budget and an additional $1 million has been added to the road resealing/resurfacing budget,” they said.



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