What did Canberra complain about the most last year?

Lottie Twyford 16 July 2021 71
Pothole in road

Thanks to plenty of wet weather, requests to fix potholes were one of the most common complaints received by the ACT Government in 2020-2021. Photo: File.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, streetlights and potholes ranked highly as key issues Canberrans love to gripe and complain about.

An analysis of all requests lodged through the ACT Government’s Fix My Street portal from 1 July, 2020, to 30 June, 2021, the top issue Canberrans had a problem with in the community was streetlights, largely with their bulbs not working.

This was followed by illegal parking, then potholes, with the top five list being rounded out with requests for mowing and maintenance, and then pruning of trees and shrubs.

Throughout the 2020-2021 financial year, a total of 47,248 issues were reported to Fix My Street, up from the previous financial year’s total of 34,707 requests lodged through the portal.

In the 2019-2020 financial year, Canberrans had more of an issue with roads, parking or vehicles than anything else, with 10,892 reports on those matters received.


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However, given the wet weather experienced throughout much of the 2020-2021 period, potholes became the priority for the ACT Government.

Potholes are created when the road surface is weakened after water enters through small cracks.

According to an ACT Government spokesperson, 3297 reports of pothole-related enquiries were submitted through Fix My Street.

However, the government actually repaired 6375 potholes during this period. Much drier conditions in the previous financial year had meant only 2719 potholes had been dealt with.

In June 2021 alone, the ACT Government repaired more than 500 potholes.

Along with relying on Fix My Street requests, the spokesperson explained the ACT Government “has a proactive program to inspect our key arterial roads, and also responds to community requests of dangerous potholes”.

The spokesperson cited an additional investment of $6 million that has enabled additional crews to respond to reactive requests, particularly pothole repairs and grass mowing.


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The spokesperson explained that upon the reception of requests from the public, all matters are triaged, and public safety is prioritised.

Examples of prioritised issues include reports of sharps, line-of-sight issues on roadsides, fallen trees, traffic signal faults, road safety or trip hazards on paths.

Issues which are deemed not urgent, such as path replacement and asphalt works, may instead be placed on a program of works.

The spokesperson explained that low priority works may be re-evaluated as higher priorities arise. For example, in the instance of a storm, resources infracted for the general pruning of trees may instead be reallocated to respond to tree damage.

With requests varying in complexity, the spokesperson explained that some requests can take a long time to be addressed, and can require capital funding in some cases. This could include requests to upgrade the public realm.

Other more complex requests include those that require an ongoing response, such as illegal dumping.

“Dumping may be removed within a short timeframe on safety grounds, but ongoing actions to prevent further dumping may also be implemented,” said the spokesperson.

The Fix My Street portal allows people to submit requests both anonymously or logged in with their ACT Digital Account which allows them to track the progress of their request and feedback.

As well as noting issues, Canberrans can also use the portal to request changes or additions to their streetscape.


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71 Responses to What did Canberra complain about the most last year?
Aaron Holloway Aaron Holloway 1:26 pm 19 Jul 21

I’m shocked that car theft and fires did not make the list at all

Alan Easiertofind Smith Alan Easiertofind Smith 12:48 pm 19 Jul 21

I love how it's phrased as Canberrans being a bunch of wingers. If I reach out to my local government with an issue, I'm not a moron, I understand it is triaged based on a few factors (especially money). I'm bringing it to their attention, I'm not some entitled winging citizen.

"Hey. You bloody Canberrans better stop complaining and just get on with it. We might not be doing our job but at least we've provided you a portal to complain about our incompetence. Ungrateful sods!" 😂

Martin Smith

Mark Planten Mark Planten 4:15 pm 18 Jul 21

Random bangs…

Denise Evans Denise Evans 10:08 pm 17 Jul 21

Not a lot has changed then

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 3:07 pm 17 Jul 21

Futureproof, Having recently driven the Monaro Hwy, I found nothing to complain about it. Now talking outback roads, some of us don’t know how lucky we are.

Photograph: main road between Ivanhoe and Menindee (and then onto Broken Hill), which I drove last year. And this isn’t the worst section. That would have been the mud patches.

Greg Minjoot Greg Minjoot 12:58 pm 17 Jul 21

Coming from the Canberra subreddit - a loud bang.

Futureproof Futureproof 12:41 pm 17 Jul 21

I’ve seen better roads in outback Queensland, compared to the goat track otherwise known as the Monaro Highway

Amanda Caldwell Amanda Caldwell 7:50 am 17 Jul 21

It's not complaining to let those responsible for services know when things aren't working. I reported a street light out. Was fixed in 2 days. Now I can see in a spot where the uneven ground was quite risky. I call that a good use of my taxes.

purplevh purplevh 10:08 pm 16 Jul 21

Fix my street requires a follow up mechanism to ask if you are happy with the work done.
I logged a job due to a lifting driveway apron and footpath causing my unmodified car to regularly bottom out and scrape on the raised parts.

They came out and ground back the apron when we were out but did nothing with the footpath which is a trip hazard so I one day have to log it again and the government will probably have to pay the contractor twice to do the one job.

Robert Mihalyka Robert Mihalyka 8:52 pm 16 Jul 21

With some of the highest registration fees in the nation, the ACT government shouldn’t be complaining about pothole repair. Pot holes happen when road maintenance is poor. Mr Barr and the Rat have a lot to answer for.

Dan Backhouse Dan Backhouse 6:59 pm 16 Jul 21

No big bangs M

Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 5:58 pm 16 Jul 21

I'd like to thank all the people that wrote to Fix My Street about the potholes in Underwood St. The road is much better now.

Tim Hollo for Canberra Tim Hollo for Canberra 5:55 pm 16 Jul 21

Not sure why this is being presented as “griping and complaining”. The point of Fix My Street is that it’s a streamlined way for residents to notify the government of things which need to be done. When it works well, it’s a great feedback mechanism so government can work more smoothly. It’s silly to present it as complaining.

    Kirsty Petersen Kirsty Petersen 6:15 pm 16 Jul 21

    Tim Hollo for Canberra wouldn’t get the same clicks that what though, would it?! 🤣😢

    Mick Smith Mick Smith 11:31 am 17 Jul 21

    Tim Hollo for Canberra I think you dont live here, there are only so many times you can ask the government to fix something and they just ignore you, fix my street is another propaganda site that they ignore, i know i have asked too many times for things to get done, and they just ignore you.

    Tim Hollo for Canberra Tim Hollo for Canberra 12:28 pm 17 Jul 21

    I do live here, and have and heard both positive and disappointed feedback about it. The sad reality is that not everything can always be done, and certainly not straight away. They have to prioritise.

consumeradvocatecanberra consumeradvocatecanberra 4:34 pm 16 Jul 21

I also suggest our parks with their access roads need urgent attention. Having lost two tyres through road conditions out Mt Gingera way is one such example but a quick Qoogle will show others are concerned about the roads out to places like Namadji and beyond. The fact they are not in suburbia should not mean, out of sight out of mind.

Jose Vega Jose Vega 4:00 pm 16 Jul 21

In the middle of a pandemic... These complaints are not so bad.... Need to whinge about something.

Ray Zak Ray Zak 3:21 pm 16 Jul 21

Potholes in a street not far from my place, one could play 18 holes of golf in those. Another gripe is the way it appears mandatory in the ACT to tailgate particularly those buffoons in the large double cab utes. They believe the closer to you boot they can get wins them some special prize. Have a look at how many nose to tail crashes occur around town. Sadly the tradies in their utes are also keeping it going by tailgating. Try and drive at the speed limit in Canberra and watch the performance of the driver following, horn blowing, hand gestures to get you to speed up.

    Simon Wheaton Simon Wheaton 4:27 pm 16 Jul 21

    Ray Zak report the potholes to Fix My Street.

    It is not only tradies in utes who tailgate.

    Ray Zak Ray Zak 4:37 pm 16 Jul 21

    Fix my street seem to be unavailable.

    Simon Wheaton Simon Wheaton 5:00 pm 16 Jul 21

    Ray Zak https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/s/fix-my-street

    Ray Zak Ray Zak 11:14 pm 16 Jul 21

    Same mate my rates went up as well as rego. All I get for the rates is a gold plated garbage service

Peter Higgins Peter Higgins 3:19 pm 16 Jul 21

I thought is was all the loud bangs.

Bronwyn Gillon Bronwyn Gillon 2:13 pm 16 Jul 21

Wanting potholes fixed is "griping and complaining"? 🙄

    Jill Worrell Jill Worrell 2:41 pm 16 Jul 21

    Bronwyn Gillon my thoughts exactly - replacing light bulbs so people can walk safely at night “griping and complaining” - reporting an issue….

    Martin Smith Martin Smith 11:01 am 17 Jul 21

    Bronwyn Gillon Isn't that we pay rates ffs ?

Stump Stump 2:10 pm 16 Jul 21

The problem is that Fix my Street does not appear to get the attention promised by the ACT govt rep. Reports are rarely acknowledged and often take months to be addressed. As an example a line of sight issue at an intersection into Castleton acres remains unactioned after almost 12 months. There are many more poor examples

Renee Mae Renee Mae 1:54 pm 16 Jul 21

The grass on the verges and median strips was in a pretty bad state at one point, seem to be better now.

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