Home' The Great Southern Star : May 10th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - PAGE 7
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By Lucy Johnson
SOUTH Gippsland Highway us-
ers can rejoice following the end of a
lengthy road works process on the Ruby
VicRoads contractors completed the section of road
at the end of April after delays caused a headache for
commuters between Leongatha and Korumburra.
VicRoads director eastern region Scott Lawrence
said the road would be inspected over the next 12 months
to ensure the road remained in top condition.
“The works to date include strengthening underly-
ing materials, building up the road and the addition of
a new bitumen seal and line marking,” he said.
“In the meantime the primer seal will be inspected
and maintained to ensure a safe riding surface.”
While the end of road works on the stretch has reduced
travel time, some residents feared for their safety before
safety barriers were introduced in the area.
Ruby’s Jim Richards said there was a two week pe-
riod between the completion of road works and imple-
mentation of safety barriers. No signage around the area
indicated how fast drivers could travel.
“I was told VicRoads had to seal the road before the
weather changed. They told me traffic would be used
to settle the road rather than using roller machines to
do it,” he said.
VicRoads confirmed Mr Richards’ account, stating
the initial seal would be settled by the traffic that travels
the Ruby straight every day.
“When a section of road is rebuilt, such as the re-
cent works at Ruby, a primer seal is applied to bond
the new surface to the underlying crushed rock. Primer
seals have a short lifespan and require a final seal to be
applied usually 12 months later,” Mr Lawrence said.
“The improvement works are only considered com-
plete when the final seal has been applied. This final
seal has a life expectancy of about 10 years.”
Mr Richards said he was concerned for his safety and
that of his fellow commuters who frequent the stretch.
“We have to get the roads as good as we can due to
the volume of traffic which passes along this stretch,”
“It really is giving drivers a false sense of security.
Trucks will be hitting the dips and could wander, caus-
ing more damage.”
Safety barriers were reinstated on Tuesday, May 3,
coinciding with the return of a 100km/h speed zone.
Mr Richards is not the only one unhappy with the
road’s condition. Daily commuter Noel Grayden of
Dumbalk said the new road was “disgusting” to drive on.
“I do not think the road is much different to how it
was before,” he said.
“Our road in Dumbalk was recently done by coun-
cil and it only took a couple of weeks. Considering
how long the road works took in Ruby, it is not good
By Sarah Vella
SUPREME Court action against the
South Gippsland Shire Council by the
Yanakie and Long Jetty Caravan Park
Annuals Committee has stagnated.
The committee will continue to pursue the case and
remains open to mediation as part of the process.
“Unfortunately, there has been little development in
recent weeks as the council continues to resist coming to
mediation,” committee chairperson Damian Lindau said.
“In fact it would appear clear that by seeking to
evict annuals, they have no interest in mediation.”
Mr Lindau said council would end up with “three
empty parks” if its position towards annual permit hold-
ers at the Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks does not
change, and is applied to Waratah Bay Caravan Park an-
nuals, if council opts to take over that park too.
“The recent move by the council to evict innocent
people is causing significant distress to many annuals, in-
cluding families and retirees of limited means,” he said.
Mr Lindau himself has been issued an eviction no-
tice, despite paying his fee.
He said the eviction notices were sent to annuals
who did not sign council’s annual permit – the permit
currently in dispute before the Supreme Court.
“I, among many others, have paid the undisputed
annual fee amount in full up to June 30, 2016, yet I am
being evicted,” he said.
“I believe the vast majority of annuals have made
a similar financial commitment to paying their fees as
Mr Lindau said the undisputed fee was the amount
set prior to the issuing of the new permit, which in-
cludes a substantial fee increase.
“The issuing of eviction letters comes as both a
surprise and a disappointment as we have been in the
process of trying to mediate with the council for many
months,” he said.
“Our many attempts to sit down and discuss the
issues surrounding the annual permit and fees, both
directly and ultimately through the legal process, have
been stonewalled by council.
“Curiously, as recently as February 9 council’s
director of development services Bryan Sword was
quoted in The Star saying, ‘council was willing to enter
Mr Lindau said the remaining annuals at both
Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks want to stay and
pay an agreed amount but it needs to be under “reason-
able and fair terms”.
“The terms council wants annuals to accept are far
from reasonable. Among several onerous permit condi-
tions the council requires annuals to have their caravans
registered,” he said.
“Council knows this is totally impractical and not
reasonably possible for annuals to achieve. They also
must know this is not a requirement under the regula-
tions set down by the government relating to caravans
on Crown land.”
As the committee of management of these parks
over the past 20 plus years, Mr Lindau said council had
the parks ‘allowed to develop as they have’.
Council referred The Star to council’s lawyers,
Maddocks, but the firm did not respond to The Star.
Caravan annuals caught out
Dangerous driving: Ruby’s Jim Richards stands baffled by the threats posed to drivers on
the South Gippsland Highway after road works were delayed and he said no clear speed limit
Mr Grayden also expressed concern for drivers
travelling along the “rippled” surface.
“It is already starting to break up and so far since
road works were complete, it is not nice to drive on at
all,” he said.
“When they were digging it up one morning, three
cars were on the side of the road replacing tyres after
they went through the potholes. It is a disgrace.”
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