Friday, 27 February 2015
Victoria’s rural addressing system needs fixing
In Parliament this week, Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay called on Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins, to undertake an investigation into failures of Victoria’s rural addressing system.
“Due to non-compliance and inconsistencies with Victoria’s rural addressing system, there needs to be an immediate investigation and audit into failures of the system.
“The aim of the rural addressing system was to accurately number all occupied properties in country Victoria with a unique address to make it easier, especially for emergency services, to locate and identify individual properties.
“Land Victoria, the responsible authority for implementing the system, worked with local councils to name unnamed roads, allocate rural road numbers and number property entrances.
“The Australian/New Zealand Standard provides guidance for authorities when assigning addresses, naming roads and localities, the use of signage and recording and mapping information, Mr Ramsay said.
The standard also requires road numbers be of a certain size, placed at the entrance of a property and be highly visible, including specifics relating to the position of rural addressing numbers, the height and angle of placement and the colour of numerals.
“You would think those standards would be quite easy to achieve for those contracted to do the work.
“Although the national standard recommends a maximum five-digit number, for some strange reason Victoria adopted a policy of allowing only a four-digit number, which destroys consistency along roads longer than 99.99 kilometres, thereby making it very confusing to find rural addresses on most state highways and many other long roads.
“The original initiative was well received and had wide support from all sections of the community.
“It was also seen as vitally important for emergency services, whether through the use of GPS or visible sighting, to improve emergency service response times in rural areas.
“But alas, the wheels fell off in the implementation stage, which had local councils contracted by Land Victoria to implement the rural addressing scheme to the Australian Standard.
“Regrettably, contracts were varied, and this led to inconsistencies between roadways and between states, and, worst of all, the numbering of roads was not consistent with the direction of the name of the road.
“Other issues also emerged, including the lack and poor visibility of address numbers.
Mr Ramsay said action was needed to improve the rural addressing system so that it met the Australian Standard and its objective of ensuring accurate identification of rural properties, particularly for emergency services.