Mayor apologises for Baw Baw's roads, makes priority
 Baw Baw News   By // 04:25, Saturday 2 March 2013

murray cook baw baw mayor warragul citizen by william pj kulich higher

MAYOR Murray Cook has apologised to Baw Baw residents for the “appalling” state of the shire’s roads and drains.

Cr Cook used his Mayoral Minute at the end of this week’s council meeting to make the apology.


“I’d like to apologise to the community for the appalling state of our roads,” Mr Cook said.

“The new council has made roads and drains our first priority.”

LISTEN: Cr Cook interviewed by
The Warragul Citizen about his speech:

If audio controls are not visible above or do not work correctly,
click here to download the MP3.

Cr Cook later told The Warragul Citizen the speech was intended to give the impression the council was taking action on roads.


“You acknowledge a situation, and then you address it and that’s the stage we’re at now,” Cr Cook said.

“It lets people know we’re well aware of what the problem is.

“It’s wider than Baw Baw Shire… we haven’t got a maintenance problem now, we have a re-make problem that’s going to be very costly.”

Cr Cook said the council would get “as much finance in that direction (roads) as we can.”

He said savings would be made elsewhere to focus on roads.

Same promise, different council

Cr Cook is not the first Baw Baw mayor to make roads a priority: former Warragul ward councillor Diane Blackwood made similar comments after being reelected mayor in 2011.

“The roads are the most important issue that the community are telling us, and we are listening,” Ms Blackwood told The Warragul Citizen in December 2011.

“It’s just frustrating that everything takes so long to come through council’s process, but we’ll certainly be looking for money in the budget for improving the roads and the conditions of our drains in the next financial year.”


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8 responses to “Mayor apologises for Baw Baw's roads, makes priority”

  1. geoff says:

    drag the money back from the leisure centre project as road improvement may save lives

  2. Robyn Rinehart says:

    We are currently pushing at the Baw Baw Shire to repair the Warragul Leongatha Rd, which is in an appalling, dangerous state. 2+ kms of total failure is causing accidents, vehicle breakdowns, arguements when drives are on the wrong side of the road to dodge potholes. A petition just done, Gazette article, Govt MPs and anything else we can think of to deal with this issue before someone dies.

  3. Robert Conkey says:

    If these “Clowns” are ” Fair Dinkum” then take the Minimum Remuneration Allowance ! Trim all Executive Salaries by 20% ! & hand back All Government Road maintenance to Vic. Roads ! Just for starters !

  4. wendy mather says:

    Once again a part of the infamous Master Plan has bitten the dust…. my goodness _ councillors superannuation is obviously more important than an entire communitys enjoyment and self worth. Not impressed.

  5. Ian Honey says:

    The only way we are going to get more funding for safe roads is to address the costs and processes of administration. This should include streamlined approaches to processing enquiries for planning and environmental health. Less spin and time to spin. Better communication and cooperation between departments without increasing the number of meetings between staff. Less time spent on being creative with paper work and responses and therefore confronting the topic and quickly resolving an enquiry. Reviewing the work place attendances. Reviewing how the systems fail when staff members are on long service leave and or training sessions. Look at the ratio of full time and part time employees to see what impact it has on customer service quality. Look at job specifications to see if positions can be amalgamated.Councillors should invite dept. managers to provide constructive ideas directly to them so that the Mayor and Directors can have an open discussion for the betterment of the Community.Finally, on site inspections and supervision of contracted work and well written contracts. Perhaps create healthy competition by awarding road maintenance contracts to different contractor for each Ward.

  6. lynton o malley says:

    Mr Honey is right on . when? did the term common sence become politicaly incorrect? It’s common knowledge & common sence that our shire employ way too many admin staff . Start at the personel with the most esoteric job title , that which also includes a rate payer fully funded motor vehicle . Good grief ? Revert to common sence get rid of Em .

  7. wombat lyons says:

    Good to see road funding a priority- after the last election. could it be anything but a priority. I just hope other community assets like community halls, kindergartens, art centres, public art, parks and gardens are made to pay a price and face being cut while roads are the priority.
    some one else commented on saving money by not giving councillors a pay rise- this sounds like a good idea.
    Ian Honey post makes me think that good policy making is a key part of the roads issue- so ideas that councillors have shared with the Warragul citizen like having less public council meetings would not be a good idea as these would be key to good road policy making
    I do think as the first post says- not looking at warragul pool at the moment would be a good idea – sure the people of warragul can get on a train to use the outdoor pools at Drouin or trafalgar or just swim indoors at the current warragul pool

    maybe Cr Cook could start the money saving by only using his council car for council business and no personal travel. maybe given we give each councillor a mobile phone and ipad we stop paying costs of there personally mobile, home phone or home internet

  8. wombat lyons says:

    should say “community assets like community halls, kindergartens, art centres, public art, parks and gardens are” NOT “made to pay a price” in the above comment