It took 52.2 days on average for matters reported via the ACT Government’s Fix My Street portal last year to be resolved, Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel has confirmed.
In response to a question in the ACT Legislative Assembly, Mr Steel said officers may already have inspected the area and that in some cases, immediate repairs could have been undertaken if necessary.
“The time taken for an issue to be formally resolved via Fix My Street is dependent on several factors including the need to engage with the correspondent who lodged the request to seek further clarification of the concern, seasonal variation in request volumes, redirection of resources to respond to emergency events including COVID-19 and storm events and more,” Mr Steel said.
Mr Steel also told the Assembly work was underway to continue the significant clean-up in Belconnen after a storm tore through the area in early January. He said 2000 requests for help with debris clean-up had already been lodged through the Fix My Street portal.
“They [reports via the Fix My Street portal] help to make the government aware of issues that need to be looked at. We appreciate the community letting us know where that work needs to happen and we encourage people to continue to report.”
In total, 46,831 requests were lodged to Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) last calendar year through Fix My Street – where residents can report issues like potholes, trip hazards, malfunctioning streetlights and other road-related issues.
Issues with illegal parking can also be reported through the portal, but these are dealt with by Access Canberra instead.
An exact breakdown of what the Fix My Street requests were for throughout the calendar year is not yet available.
The 2020/21 financial year breakdown is already available. It showed the top issue Canberrans had a problem with was streetlights, primarily due to malfunctioning bulbs.
This was followed by illegal parking, then potholes, requests for mowing and maintenance and pruning trees and shrubs.
A total of 47,248 issues were reported to Fix My Street in the financial year, up from 34,707 in the previous year.
Mr Steel last year said an average of 40,000 maintenance requests were managed by TCCS every year.
Requests related to potholes had increased substantially in 2021 – an increase the government has repeatedly attributed to the effects of La Nina.
The government’s pothole repairs almost tripled from 2719 in the drier 2019/20 financial year to 6375 in 2020/21, when there were 3297 pothole-related submissions to Fix My Street.
In the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years, the ACT Government received 61 claims from drivers for damage to their vehicles from potholes and it paid out $37,320.
Opposition spokesperson for Transport and City Services Nicole Lawder has called on the ACT Government to do more to repair potholes to prevent Canberrans from having to deal with damage to their vehicles.
In January, she said she’d heard from constituents who claimed their cars were almost disappearing into large holes while others have had to fork out for car and tyre repairs arising from close encounters.