Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . .
MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, the 2013-14 annual report for the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate shows that the resurfacing program failed to meet annual targets yet again. The report shows that only 1.8 per cent of municipal roads and 3.2 per cent of territory roads were resurfaced, compared to targets of four and five per cent respectively. The resurfacing program has recommenced for this year and once again opposition members have started to receive complaints from constituents who are concerned about the poor quality of work involving chip seal. Amongst other complaints, constituents have concerns about chip seal being used on steep streets and causing damage to vehicles. Minister, how is it that TAMS has failed to meet its targets for yet another year and that there are still complaints about the poor quality of the work?
MR RATTENBURY: Chip seal is used as part of the ACT road resurfacing program because it is a cost-effective measure that provides protection for the road surface. The purpose of chip sealing is to provide a seal so that water does not get into the roads, and it is water seeping into the road surface that results in the damage that leads to potholes and degradation of the road surface.
I know that members of the community do have concerns about chip seal. As I think I have said in this place before, there is a significant cost differential between the use of chip seal and asphalting. It is a significant price differential, and in order to ensure that the budget that Roads ACT does have to do resurfacing goes as far as possible, chip sealing is used. It is used in jurisdictions across Australia because it is considered to be a cost-effective and effective way of dealing with road maintenance.
As members know, however, due to community feedback, there have been some changes. Chip seal is no longer being used in shopping centre car parks as a result of a policy change that I worked on with Roads ACT to deliver in the last year, because of the very significant feedback and the obvious difficulties it presents in shopping centre car parks.
In other areas we do at times have defect issues with the use of chip seal, but those are covered by warranty. With respect to where there is a problem, one example that members will probably know about is at the top of the hill at the Federal Highway, as you go out of the city. Examples like that are covered by the warranty and any repairs that do not meet standards are repaired at the cost of the contractor.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Minister, is the use of chip seal appropriate on streets with a steep gradient or low traffic volume?
MR RATTENBURY: Chip seal is used in places that are suitable, and that is based on a technical analysis. Asphalt is used in some areas where there is particularly high usage or there are other technical reasons for doing so. Chip seal is used in those
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