Ruff roads need a helping hand

VIGILANTE artist Roa Dart has been adding colour to our roads and warning motorists of approaching potholes for several years now.

The recent heavy rains from ex-cyclone Oswald caused the usual havoc; washing away bitumen and opening up cracks large enough to swallow a small car.

So Roa Dart has been kept extremely busy since it stopped, trekking across the region with his high-vis shirt and cans of spray paint to warn drivers of the perils ahead.

Roa Dart is not part of a council maintenance team (though he says the council workers generally leave as much of his work as possible when they fill the holes now). He is completely self-funded and estimates it costs him $120 or more each week in paint, plus his fuel costs.

"My canvas is all laid out. People (in cars) produce the holes and they appreciate it when I paint them," he said.

But times are tough for community-minded road warriors, so Roa (or should that be Mr Dart?) is asking anybody who wants to see his work continue to throw a few dollars into one of the collection points he has set up.

"It's been a good journey for me doing these holes... You get about 1% of people who are negative, and most people are oblivious to me being there, but most people give me a smile and a wave," he said.

Roa Dart said spending so much time standing by the side of the road has given him a unique perspective.

"I'd like to see people to slow down. I see people just ripping past so fast they don't even see the potholes."

When he's not painting (or farming or parenting), he spends his time making the love hearts that have appeared around Lismore and on the way to Nimbin in recent months.

"I resonate from Nimbin. It's good to have some colour on the road out there," he said.

Where you can donate

To help Roa Dart stay on the road. He has collection boxes at:

Gibbos Auto Barn, Lismore

The Republic of Coffee, Embassy

  Arcade, Lismore

Goolmangar Store

Dunoon Post Office

Tribal Magic, Nimbin

Nimbin NRMA and petrol station

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