A North East mayor has floated a simple idea to fix the region's pothole crisis - farm out repair work on state-managed roads to local council workers.
Alpine Council's John Forsyth said delays in repairing potholes that could stretch out for months could be alleviated with some "lateral thinking".
Cr Forsyth said an observation from a local at a neighbouring shire about how the state government handled road repairs "was spot on".
He argued that by the time contractors fixed their allocated damaged sections, more potholes would have appeared, but were not allocated with paint markings for repair.
Cr Forsyth said it "might be time to get back to basics".
"So people previously had an appreciation of where you would have a council truck, three or four workers in it that go out in the morning, and they'd have a load of bitumen on the back," he said.
"They'd go out and just troll around the roads, they fill up all the bloody holes, pat it down, and that was the day's work.
"And then they'd go to have a couple of beers and go home - that's not happening now, repairs are delayed for months."
Cr Forsyth said he respected contractors engaged by the state government for their expertise, but council workers who lived and worked near damaged roads were under-utilised.
"I just feel that there's probably a bit of untapped capacity amongst the council workers," he said. "I wouldn't like to be in the state government's shoes, because with the massive floods, they're still having an effect, we've just lost so many roads and bridges.
"The state government probably hasn't thought about looking at this untapped capacity in order to get them done.
"I don't believe they think laterally. Apparently back in the 1990s, the state government went into long-term contracts with specific providers for those rights and did not take the local government arena along with them.
"And I think that they're locked into that. Surely the guys within the local government, if they've got more capacity to go out and do it, saves having to let the big tenders out to do big areas."
Meanwhile, Indigo Shire mayor Sophie Price said she would encourage Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne to visit North East to inspect the state of the region's roads.
"We'd be more than happy to welcome minister Horne to come up to to the North East," she said.
"It's a beautiful part of the world, and we'd love to show her just some of the pinch points in the road network that we really need some some assistance with in the lead up to a busy tourism period.
"We have really good connections with Regional Roads Victoria and will continue to use those really good networks as well.
"Certainly, if the minister wanted to come for a visit we welcome her anytime."
Cr Price said tourism was "one of the many factors that we consider" in wanting roads to be in good condition.
"But it's also about our locals and just about the ongoing improvement of the condition of our roads in general," she said.
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