Potholes branded as "deathtraps" are scaring visitors away from a historic Upper Murray town, hurting businesses and outraging locals.
One farmer at Walwa, north of Corryong, is taking matters into his own hands by using his own gravel to fill potholes.
Owners of Walwa Riverside Caravan Park paid to fix roads on their own property, but said state-managed roads leading to their park remained "dismal" causing a substantial drop in their visitor numbers.
Farmer Robert "Crundle" Newnham, who has lived in the Upper Murray for most of his life, said he was "nervously waiting" for more reports of fatalities on the region's roads.
Mr Newnham, who is secretary of the Walwa Cemetery Trust, the Country Fire Authority, and the Walwa Golf Club, said he believed the government's answer to the problem was to drop the speed limit to 40kmh rather than fix the roads.
"The Shelley-Walwa Road where I live is narrow, the potholes at times up to 150mm deep, which has damaged many vehicles," Mr Newnham said.
"These are deathtraps, they're going to cause a fatal accident very shortly. What price do you put on a life?
"The situation has become so dire that another local spent last weekend filling the potholes himself with gravel, to reduce the chance of a fatality.
"To try to fix it, they (Transport and Planning Department) have dropped the speed limit to 40kmh for 16km which nobody obeys as it is far too slow."
Another local, Chris "Woody" Wood said paint markings around damaged sections on the road "were a joke" among locals.
"I'd hate to think how much paint they're going through because if you go and have a look, there's paint markings on this road from arsehole to breakfast time," he said.
OUR POTHOLE CRISIS:
"They measure it all out and then it goes to tender, that's part of the problem.
"And then by the time somebody gets here three months later, it's broken up elsewhere, but that's not part of the tender.
"It's not the contractors' fault - it's just way things work."
The co-owner of the town's Riverside Caravan Park said visitor numbers had fallen this year following extensive damage caused to the region's roads by last year's floods.
Heidi Conway said roads on their property had recently been redone - but roads leading to their park remained "in a terrible state".
Mrs Conway said she believed the state of the roads leading to Walwa was damaging tourism not just in Walwa but throughout the region.
"Everyone who visits here mentions the shocking state of the roads and our visitor numbers have dropped in the past year," Mrs Conway said.
"They're thinking, we'll go somewhere else because it's not easy to get to our park without going through all these potholes, it's dangerous, especially for motorbikes.
"We sat down and tried to figure out the drop in numbers - a lot of people struggling with the price of diesel is part of it - but the potholes are the main cause. People are always asking me, is there any other way we can come in because it's a nightmare.
"You can come in via Corryong which isn't too bad, but Shelley Road has been terrible for ages, and coming from Jingellic is also shocking.
"You only have to look at the road outside the (Walwa) pub which is close to us - it's appalling."
A farmer near Walwa, who is known to use his own gravel to fix potholes on the state-managed road next to his property declined to be named, fearing legal retribution.
A Transport and Planning Department spokesman said the government could not condone people taking matters into their own hands by trying to repair the roads themselves.
"While we appreciate the good intentions, the safety of all road users has to be our number one priority," the spokesman said.
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"That's why all work delivered within our road reserves must be delivered by qualified workers who are permitted to do so.
"Our regional road maintenance blitz is delivering road repairs right across the state, including some of North East Victoria's busiest and most productive trade and travel routes, all thanks to a $770 million investment over the next 12 months.
"The Victorian government is investing $2.8 billion over 10 years into road maintenance and renewal works, including flood recovery.
"This new multi-year funding approach means we can plan a long-term road maintenance program and deliver works strategically across the state."
The spokesman said potholes or other road hazards can be reported by phoning 13 11 70.
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