Parliament Gippsland South The Nationals Roads

Labor failing regional motorists

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has highlighted Melbourne Labor's failure in its first term in office when it comes saving lives by improving rural roads.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr O’Brien said Melbourne Labor’s pre-election pledge to inject $1 billion over eight years to improve country roads was a hoax, with the promised funding not found in this year's budget.

“For 12 out of the last 16 years Melbourne Labor has been in government and they have done nothing to improve roads. In fact, they have done worse than that — they have actually cut money from the roads budget,” Mr O’Brien said.

“During the last year of the Coalition Government the roads maintenance budget was boosted to more than half a billion dollars and in its first budget Melbourne Labor cut that budget by 10 per cent,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In addition, Labor slashed the Coalition’s successful $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program, which delivered a million dollars each year to rural councils like South Gippsland and Wellington to fix roads in urgent need of repair.”

Mr O’Brien said funding allocated under Labor’s sham replacement of the Coalition’s Country Roads and Bridges Program had been used to improve 10 bridges on the Monash freeway in the Premier’s own electorate.

“Here we have the one project that the government puts up for country roads and bridges, and it spends a big chunk of it in Melbourne,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is a government that thinks that Melbourne ends at Pakenham, and nothing is being done about roads in country Victoria.”

Mr O’Brien said Melbourne Labor was fully aware of roads projects in the electorate that urgently required funding.

“One of those is the winding and dangerous Black Spur section of the South Gippsland Highway between Koonwarra and Meeniyan," Mr O’Brien said.

“Another worthy project is the Princes Highway duplication between Sale and Traralgon, and at present there are two sections that remain unfunded. The full duplication of the highway would improve safety and the efficiency of freight movement in an area of growth, particularly in the agricultural industry.”

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