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01 October 2019

Nothing new in south-west roads announcement

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says this morning’s roads funding announcement is nothing more than a media stunt and is previously announced funding.

Ms Britnell said this morning’s announcement of $91 million for the south-west forms part of the package of funding announced in the 2019/20 state budget.

“This is a headline grabbing stunt, there is nothing new here, it’s previously announced funding,” she said.

“The petition I have been running has already attracted more than 5000 signatures and continues to grow. People have had enough; they want a real investment in our roads, not the smoke and mirrors of a media stunt held in the suburbs.

“It’s really disappointing that there is still no announcement about matching the $140 million the Federal Liberal Government has provided for the Princes Highway and other strategically important roads in the south-west.

“This money is a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed to bring roads in the south-west back up to a safe and acceptable standard.” Ms Britnell said the Government would have been better served announcing a sweeping overhaul of the road maintenance and repair systems.

She said almost two years ago, the Auditor General found that not enough funding is allocated to road maintenance to sustain the road network and that VicRoads cannot demonstrate clearly that it is making the best use of its existing maintenance funds.

“South-west Victorians want assurances that money for road maintenance will be spent properly and result in high quality, long lasting repairs,” Ms Britnell said

“This unfortunately has not been the case and people are sick and tired of seeing roads repaired and then falling apart weeks later – there are examples of this happening right across the region.”

“Rather than re-announce road maintenance funding, the Andrews Labor Government would be better off overhauling the system to ensure money is spent in the best way possible.”