Roads Gippsland South Budget

Labor gives up on country roads

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has again criticized the Melbourne Labor Government its lack of funding for country roads and proposals to reduce speed limits rather than fix the roads.

Mr O’Brien said Victorians shouldn’t be fooled by weekend announcements about big spending on road safety when Labor had cut millions from the roads budget.

“Anything we can do to improve safety and save lives is fantastic and the latest announcement will go some way towards country road safety. However let’s not forget Labor cut the roads maintenance budget by 17 per cent in its first year in office and this year’s budget highlights that the roads budget is still 10 per cent below the last year of the Coalition Government,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Throw in the axing of the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program and the $1.1 billion disgracefully wasted on cancelling the East West Link contract and Labor’s record on roads is not good.

“To now talk about reducing speed limits on some country roads suggests Labor has simply given up on fixing our roads.”

Mr O’Brien said he received a lot of negative feedback from South Gippsland residents about wire rope barriers which many people believe are a safety hazard and that the money would be better spent on fixing the road surface itself.

“The experts tell us that these roadside barriers save lives and I’m sure that is the case but I know my constituents are frustrated that the road surface itself does not receive more attention,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor should reinstate all the road funding it has cut and honour its broken promise to spend an additional $1 billion over eight years on rural and regional roads.

“Labor has no excuse given The Nationals in Opposition insisted on 10 per cent or up to $700 million from the Port of Melbourne sale being directed to rural and regional transport infrastructure.

“The Nationals have ensured there is additional funding available for roads and rail works and Labor can now not back out and leave our roads in a poor state.  I know the state of our roads is one of the biggest issues in my electorate and I will continue to fight for more roads funding.”

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