19 cattle dead, truck owner fed up with road

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A CATTLE truck driver was lucky to escape with no injuries when the back trailer of his truck rolled down a steep embankment, killing 19 of the 40 cattle on board.

Owner of the truck and cattle James Speed said the crash on Tuesday, caused by a blown steer tyre, would have been avoided if the Springsure-Tambo Rd wasn't "smashing the tyres to pieces".

"The last week of June, (Transport and) Main Roads were going to close the road because it was so rough," Mr Speed said.

"They said they'd have a grader out here early July - that never happened."

Mr Speed said the condition of the road was "horrendous" and the impact of the crash on his driver, stock and truck was substantial - with the dead cattle alone worth $30,000.

But he said he was under no illusions as to what had caused the road to fall into disrepair, and said without funding there was little the Central Highlands Regional Council could do.

"It's a lack of funding - there's not enough money allocated to that road.

"It's something that needs to be looked at. (State Government) did plenty for the mining industry but they're not doing much for the rural industry."

Mayor Peter Maguire said there was no doubt the road was one of the region's worst.

"Certainly it needs many, many millions of dollars more spent on it," Cr Maguire said.

"It's part of the state road network and... it needs them to come to the party with more funding."

Police found the truck driver wasn't at fault in the incident.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesman said a maintenance grading program will start on the road on September 21.

"We continually monitor the condition of all state-controlled roads to ensure they are safe and capable of handling traffic demand," he said.

"Much of the Dawson Developmental Rd (Springsure-Tambo) is unsealed gravel and recommended for use by high-clearance and four-wheel drive vehicles only."

Topics:  cattle editors picks transport truck driver trucking trucks

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