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Wallan students call for better roads in the region

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Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis has worked as a journalist at the North Central Review since 2022, with a particular focus on the City of Whittlesea and stories for the Whittlesea Review. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications majoring in journalism and focuses on politics, community, and health with the occasional niche sports story finding its way in front of her.

Mitchell Shire residents are not the only citizens requesting better road conditions. 

Grade six students at Our Lady of The Way Primary School in Wallan replicated a protest last month, making similar statements on the shire’s potholes among other much-needed projects including an off and on ramp to access the Hume Freeway near the school.

The persuasive texts were part of the school’s curriculum teaching democracy and the three tiers of government. But when students paid more attention to state government potholes became a focus among other community road projects.

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Discussions on potholes and road congestion led to grade sixes voicing their opinions at the replicated protest, while other students held creative signs expressing similar statements. 

Grade six student Ness said he used his persuasive text to highlight the struggles residents face.

“I’ve seen a lot of incidents, how cars avoid and swerve away … instead of fixing it, the Mitchell Shire Council just slows down the speed,” he said.

Ness said he was aware the road conditions were both Mitchell Shire Council and the State Government’s responsibility. 

Grade six students Shanini and Ruby based their texts on impacts to the community, while also calling on council.

“I find that [the potholes] create more traffic and that kind of impacts my school life and those kinds of things,” Shanini said. 

“I’d just like them to be fixed so people are less stressed about it after a hard workday and then having to go on the roads and having to deal with all this traffic, and all these potholes,” Ruby said.

Grade six teacher Mark van Zyl said it was simple to teach students something real to them. 

“I’m proud that they do speak from their hearts and say how they feel,” he said.  

“Again, they were talking about how it’s their future. They want to make sure that the government is spending the money [on], what makes this community happy.

“Being from kids with ideas and feelings, they need to be heard and it gives them the power to think ‘I can stand up for myself, what I feel is right’ in the future.

“But again, they’re hearing from their parents and family members.”

The Review has reported on the region’s potholes on many occasions – several pothole petitions to fix Wallan’s Watson Street, calling on governments, as well as Wallan’s iconic pothole dubbed the ‘Wallan Botanical Gardens’ which made it on Nine News. 

For a while, Watson Street had temporary ‘road work’ signs with no actual work taking place, but now the road is being resurfaced with ‘rough surface’ signs.  

Meanwhile, Kilmore has had its fair share of potholes – potholes along Sydney Street spray painted pink by a concerned resident, while vehicles are crossing double white lines to avoid pothole damage on the council-managed Kilmore East Road.

In a poll posted on the Review’s Facebook page last year, more than 600 unanimously voted the quality of roads in the Mitchell Shire had ‘gotten worse’ in the past year.

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  1. I believe Vic Roads are carrying repairs to Watson st this would have been in the works agenda for some time now, as tenders would have called for and that all take time

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