The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is calling for a significant boost in road maintenance funding ahead of the State Budget this month.
Mr O’Brien said the Andrews Labor Government has cut over $230 million from road maintenance over the past two budgets and country road users are paying the price.
“Our roads are in a dire state. Barely a day goes by without someone in Gippsland raising with me the state of the roads, the safety issues as a result of poor roads and the cost of repairs to burst tyres and damaged rims.
“Instead of cutting the road maintenance budget, it should be increased, in line with the $1 billion per year commitment The Nationals took to last year’s election. Currently, Labor is spending less than $600 million.
“Recently the Andrews Labor Government announced a new road safety fund for local councils to help with things like intersection and kerbing upgrades. This does little to replace or compensate for the loss of the Country Roads and Bridges program that they axed when they first formed government in 2014,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This road safety fund is in stark contrast to The Nationals’ commitment to implement annual grants of $1.5 million for rural and regional councils such as South Gippsland and Wellington Shire to fund the restoration and renewal of deteriorating road and bridge infrastructure.”
Mr O’Brien said it was time for the Andrews Labor Government to govern for all Victorians.
“Under Andrews, regional Victorians are paying more and getting less.
“Victoria is the highest taxed state in the nation with the highest amount of debt than any other state, yet country roads are being left to crumble while city-based projects like the North East Link and the West Gate Tunnel are allowed to blowout by billions.
“The State Budget must ensure a fairer share for regional Victoria so that our roads can be properly repaired and maintained.”