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.”