Earthquake damage a lingering problem for isolated farmers in eastern Victoria

Truck access to farms in a remote part of Gippsland has been curtailed, with an earthquake-damaged road yet to be repaired.

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck between Licola and Mansfield in September last year.

It damaged the Jamieson-Licola Road, which was further exacerbated by heavy rainfall.

Vehicles travelling north of Licola must detour via Target Creek Road, a gravel single lane road. Locals say it becomes muddy and slippery in wet weather.

Anthony Higgins farms at Glencairn north of Licola. He says he can’t get bulk fuel deliveries to his property because of the road closure.

“[The fuel company] reckons that Target Creek Road is too dangerous to come up in the wet so I’ve had to buy a slip on unit which cost me a couple of thousand dollars,” Mr Higgins said.

“I’ve got to meet them at Licola now and fill my little 400-litre diesel tank and take that home for my fuel supply whereas before they’d come straight to the house.

“It’s just another time consuming arrangement.”

Mr Higgins says he also holds animal welfare concerns, with large cattle trucks unable to access his property.

He said cattle must be transported from his property to Licola on a tray truck, then moved onto a larger truck with trailer for the onward journey.

“You’re double handling cattle. It’s more time consuming and an extra burden on the cattle transport drivers,” Mr Higgins said.

“That Target Creek Road … as soon as it gets a little bit wet you can maybe get a four-wheel-drive up there, but a car is skidding everywhere and a truck, even a tray truck, can’t get up there in the wet with a load on because it’s too narrow.”

Dane Martin manages Glenfalloch Station, a large property at Licola with business ties to other land holdings in north east Victoria.

The road closure has also made it difficult for cattle from Glenfalloch to be transported north.

“It’s very dangerous that little one lane track that goes up below the affected road, particularly when we’ve got tourists around during Easter,” Mr Martin said.

“It’s a high traffic area and I’m sure people can appreciate it’s quite dangerous and slippery.

Wellington shire Council expects work to be completed on the Jamieson-Licola Road by mid-2023.

A spokesperson said the road was closed because of safety concerns and would require specialist advice because of the steep terrain.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *