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28 November 2019

Members Statement: Rural and Regional Roads

This morning I tabled a petition calling on the Andrews Labor government to fix the roads in south-west Victoria.

That petition has 8270 signatures on it and is demanding the government act to fix our roads. It has been one year since the state election, and I note the Premier was out on social media talking about what he has apparently achieved in that 12 months. There was a glaring omission: any mention of repairing rural and regional roads. Instead my constituents are driving on roads that are simply stuffed, and if repairs are attempted, they fall apart within a few weeks.

Mr Wynne: Is that a technical term?

Ms BRITNELL: Very technical.

I have said many times in this place that the government must change the way roads are maintained, moving away from a reactive approach to a proactive one, which works and is cheaper.

I actually have some sympathy for the Minister for Roads, who is a member for Western Victoria in the other place. It must be so difficult for her to look our shared constituents in the eye knowing the Labor government she represents is so focused on the city and is treating those from rural and regional areas as second-class citizens.

But that is where my sympathy ends, because she is doing nothing to address the deficiencies in the way the government approaches road maintenance, deficiencies that have been highlighted by the Auditor-General. With the minimal money the minister is given by her city-centric Premier she could at least be ensuring the money is spent properly on decent and long-lasting repairs.

The Premier cannot ignore the thousands of people who signed my petition. They are saying enough is enough. It is time to focus on rural and regional Victoria and get on with fixing our roads and fixing them properly.