The Nationals Safety Country Roads Funding Country Roads and Bridges Program Princes Hwy road speed limits maintenance

O’Brien: Better roads not slower speeds

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is urging the Andrews Labor Government to focus on fixing local roads instead of reducing speed limits.

Mr O’Brien’s comments are in response to media reports that the government will not rule out cutting speed limits on rural roads, despite regional Victorians making it clear that the priority should be proper maintenance and repairs.

“Reducing speed limits is a band-aid fix that will only frustrate road users and lead to more accidents as roads deteriorate and tempers flare,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We all agree that we need to see the road toll reduce, but it’s important that we achieve that by providing safe infrastructure, not just telling people to drive slower on roads that are already falling apart.

“In 2017 I was inundated with complaints after a number of arterial roads in South Gippsland around Mirboo North and Korumburra suddenly saw the speed limit drop by 20km/h without warning.

“Instead of talking about reducing speed limits, we should be reinstating the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program that Labor axed and replacing the 10 per cent they cut from the roads maintenance budget on coming to government.

“Speed limits reduced to 80km/h are popping up all over Victoria while our roads are left to crumble as our local councils struggle to meet the financial cost of maintenance.”

Currently the default speed limit for unsigned country roads is 100km/h.

“Meanwhile, as the road toll continues to rise, we are still waiting for funding to complete the duplication of the Princes Highway to Sale and for work to begin on the notorious Black Spur which has recently blown out to $115.2 million, more than double the original project costings. 

“The Black Spur has taken lives and should be a priority. We need results, not paper-based decisions made sitting behind a desk in Melbourne.”

Across Victoria, the road toll has reached 246 as of last week compared with 213 for all of last year.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is urging the Andrews Labor Government to focus on fixing local roads.

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