Independent expert to review Wollondilly road upgrades

Cr Michael Banasik hopes an independent road report will put shire resident's minds at ease. Picture: Chris Lane
Cr Michael Banasik hopes an independent road report will put shire resident's minds at ease. Picture: Chris Lane

"Ask anyone in the shire what their biggest gripe is and they will say, 'fix the roads'.''

That's the belief of Wollondilly councillor Michael Banasik.

Cr Banasik has asked the council to hire an independent roads expert to review the methodology council uses to prioritise and repair the shire's roads.

"Our council staff do an amazing job looking after more than 800 kilometres of roads," he said.

"But there is a lot of angst out there about the state of our roads."

Cr Banasik said he had had discussions with staff and his fellow councillors about bringing in an independent expert.

"It's a chance to look at the way we spend our money on the roads and if there is something we could be doing to have more roads fixed," he said.

"A lot of people ask us why certain roads are being fixed and not others that might be in worse condition - and I am no expert on road management so it will be a good chance to learn about why that is.

"The independent expert might help us to learn about different equipment or materials that can be used to fix some of our roads."

The independent auditor is expected to cost council approximately $15,000-$20,000.

"I think it is worth the cost," Cr Banasik said.

"We have a duty to ensure we are doing the best that we can for our ratepayers - especially when it comes to our roads.

"If it comes back that we are doing the best we can, so be it."

Cr Banasik said people often approached him to complain about the state of the roads in Wollondilly.

"In the past two or three years more people have complained about the roads than in my past 20 years on council," he said.

"People often bring up Regreme Road in Picton, Turner Street in Thirlmere, Silverdale Road, Avon Dam Road in Bargo and Prince Street in Picton is a big one.

"A lot of these roads will be upgraded in the medium to long term but it will be interesting to see if the expert's report funds a better way for us to do these projects."

Cr Banasik could not confirm when the expert report would be completed.