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Koroit road a ‘death trap’

Another main road is crumbling under the weight of construction transport for the $1 billion Macarthur wind farm with the popular east-west Spencer Road south of Koroit becoming riddled with potholes.

One regular user told The Standard it had become a death trap in the past fortnight.

“The tarmac has been ripped up in long strips,” said Warrnambool-based farmer Peter Fraser.

“If someone has a serious accident and it can be traced back to wind farm trucks all hell will break loose.

“Police would have a ball with speeding truckies.”

VicRoads is scrambling to keep pace with repairs to the Spencer Road arterial route which links the Port Fairy-Hamilton Road with the Koroit-Penshurst Road.

The roads authority said it had increased frequency of inspections and maintenance from monthly to fortnightly to fix hazards.

“Major patching work will be finished when the weather becomes warmer later this year,” said VicRoads regional director Robin Miles.

“Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive to road conditions.”

Moyne Shire Council has also been grappling with complaints about damage to other roads from trucks carrying materials from quarries across the region to the construction site.

Shire mayor Cr Jim Doukas said there were loopholes in planning approvals by the previous state government for numerous new- energy projects in the south-west.

“All these roads should have been upgraded before any work was allowed to start on the wind farms,” he said.

“Companies are meant to repair damage on routes used for construction transport.”

Shire infrastructure manager Malcolm McPherson said the damage was compounded by a prolonged wet winter which made it difficult to do proper repairs.

He was confident the municipality would not have to foot the bill.

“Under the Road Management Act council will be able to recover the cost if necessary,” he said.

“Wind farm proponents are doing repairs on the Macarthur-Hawkesdale Road and Ripponhurst Road and Tarrone North Road is to be repaired.

“When the project is finished we will have picked up an asset with seven to eight kilometres of widended roadway.”