Fire Danger Season clock ticking for Montacute Road

Liberal MP for Morialta John Gardner today called on the Weatherill Labor Government to provide support to the Adelaide Hills Council to ensure Montacute Road is fixed before the fire danger season commences.

A substantial section of Montacute Road, at Montacute, was destroyed in last week’s storm events.

“With the fire danger season just a couple of months away, we need all shoulders to the wheel to ensure Montacute Road is fixed in time,” Mr Gardner said.

“This is an enormous task and we need the State Government to sit down with the Adelaide Hills Council this week so that the necessary work can start as quickly as possible.

“Obviously in fire danger season we want people to plan ahead so that there won’t be any need to make emergency exits. But in the event of a fire to the south or east of Montacute or Cherryville, Montacute Road is a key road that people use to get to the safety of the plains.

“With Montacute Road unavailable for use, residents leaving their homes would be forced to access inappropriate roads like Corkscrew Road – better known for its technical challenges during the Tour Down Under.

“Council engineers have begun assessing the damage to Montacute Road and are in the process of analysing what needs to be done, but there is no time to waste.

“After speaking with senior management at the Adelaide Hills Council last week I wrote to the Minister about this issue, urging the State Government to provide support.

“Although Montacute Road is a Council road, it was once a State Government road before being given to the old East Torrens Council to look after. The unique impact of this storm damage means that State Government support would be appropriate in this instance.

“I therefore welcome the comments by Minister Mullighan in Question Time yesterday that ‘the government is prepared to assist them where we can.”

“Hills residents deserve nothing less from the State Government. We’ve just had the report on the Pinery Fires handed down – those fires took place in November last year. The Government has a duty to ensure that our area is not put at undue risk this summer.”