Council steps in to clean up highway

THE western entry to Sale should be a lot tidier this Christmas now work has begun along the Princes Highway at Wurruk following expressions of community concern.

VicRoads has allowed Wellington Shire Council to carry out work along the 12-month-old stretch of road.

Three roundabouts and the causeway were unsightly with overgrown grass, weeds and discarded rubbish.

Work began yesterday and is likely to be completed by Thursday.

Wellington Shire mayor Carolyn Crossley said council had advocated for some time to VicRoads for a regular management schedule of the roadsides and roundabouts along the highway at Wurruk.

The work will involve slashing along roadsides and centre medians just west of the visitor information centre to the intersection of Sovereign Drive at the far end of Wurruk, while a reach mower will be used to manage the sloping sides.

“Though we won’t have time to also tidy the roundabouts next week, we hope that sorting out the roadsides and median will help address the issue,” Cr Crossley said.

“We highly value our town entries; they are a first impression for visitors to the area and present a positive outlook for business owners seeking towns to which they could relocate.

“The importance of town entries can’t be highlighted enough.”

The news council would take on the work in place of VicRoads came only hours after the Gippsland Times spoke to Pearsondale resident Tracey Penn about the state of the roundabouts and causeway.

Annoyed with the lack of attention, Ms Penn vented her frustration on the Gippsland Times Facebook page. She was pleasantly surprised by the level of agreement from the public.

“I drive through here every day, and I don’t think they’ve done a thing,” Ms Penn said.

“It was exciting to get it done, but they never looked after it.”

The state of the highway at Wurruk, Ms Penn said, was in stark contrast to how tidy the road was on the other side of Flooding Creek where council is the responsible authority.

Following completion of the VicRoads highway duplication and construction of Pearson’s Crossing, Cr Crossley said council undertook median works at the western entry to Sale, where the highway joins Foster St.

“We work to a regular maintenance schedule in that space, as we do with town entries shire wide,” she said.

“We hope now to be able to assist VicRoads in maintaining the roadsides along the Princes Highway in a similar manner into the new year.”