Opposition Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell is continuing her push for the Victorian Government to thoroughly address the dreadful conditions of roads across northern Victoria, and
immediately provide the significant and desperately-needed funding required for urgent works on both VicRoads and local government-maintained roads.
“Anyone who has driven around our region lately knows that the condition of many roads is a disgrace,” Ms Lovell said.
“Immediate and major investment in maintenance by government is desperately needed to improve safety, prevent accidents and save lives.”
Ms Lovell said the government needs to both provide VicRoads with funding to address maintenance issues on state-maintained roads, and also provide local councils with funding to allow for maintenance and improved safety of roads maintained by local councils.
Ms Lovell said that over the past two year the Andrews Labor Government has cut funding for road maintenance by almost $200 million, including slashing the Road Restoration and Resurface Budget by almost $116 and wiping out the Country Roads and Bridges Program, which would have provided $80 million to local councils over the two years.
“This reduced funding for road maintenance, combined with this year’s wet winter, has left country roads in a terrible condition, resulting in a serious safety threat to road users and causing damage to vehicles,” Ms Lovell said.
“On a local level, the loss of the Country Roads and Bridges Program funding has had an enormous impact on the 40 rural and regional councils – almost half of which are in northern Victoria – that had received funding from this program under the former Liberal government.
“This loss of $1 million per council per year, plus the Andrew’s Government’s rate-capping policy, means rural and regional council budgets are being stretched beyond their limits and will not be able to easily address road maintenance needs in their municipalities.”
“On a state level, last week’s announcement by the government of scheduled maintenance for some of the major roads across north-east Victoria will only scratch the surface of what needs to be done.
“Many roads across the large regional road network require urgent works, so funding to allow VicRoads to carry these works out properly and urgently should be a major government priority.”