Roads funding just smoke and mirrors
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O'Brien said road funding announced for the South Gippsland Highway today was a con job by the Melbourne Labor Government.
"Improvements to our roads are always welcome, especially at Ruby, one of the worst sections of the highway, but this is just the announcement of routine VicRoads funding, which Labor has actually cut overall," Mr O'Brien said.
“We need to be very clear that the Labor Government has not met its own commitments on roads funding and cut the roads maintenance budget by 10 per cent in its first budget. It has also scrapped the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program, which provided $1 million per annum to councils like South Gippsland and Wellington.
“Many would recall the strong statements made by Roads Minister Luke Donnellan when he was the Shadow Minister that more funding was needed. Sadly he hasn’t followed up on that in Government. Even his promised $1 billion over eight years for country Victoria – which in itself was a cut in funding – has not materialised and the Minister himself cannot say where it is in the budget.”
Mr O’Brien said he would continue to push for added roads funding and was pleased the additional $130 million injected to the budget by The Nationals in Government last year had made significant improvements to a number of sections on the South Gippsland Highway.
“We need to improve our roads to cope with increasing number of trucks and tourist traffic and to ensure that our roads are safe for local residents to travel on,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I am happy to see any funding for improving our roads but today’s announcement by the Melbourne Labor Government is a smoke and mirrors trick, to try and hide the fact that they have actually cut road funding."