March 10, 2016: Members Statement- Wander Victoria Program

Last week the Andrews government launched the Wander Victoria program to boost regional tourism, but this government has not provided the infrastructure for people to get there. Massive cuts to rural road funding and the scrapping of the country roads and bridges program has resulted in the disintegration of many roads.

Visitors travelling to our region have to dodge potholes along some of Victoria’s most distressed roads, according to VicRoads’ own data. Travelling by public transport is no better. Train travellers to the folk festival might not get a seat for the 31⁄2 hour journey, and if they arrive on time, it will be a miracle. In Heywood a visitor had a lucky escape when a truck slammed into her car at an intersection in the middle of the town where locals have been lobbying for reduced speed signs. South-west Victoria is key to Victoria’s regional tourism, attracting travellers on its world famous tourist roads. Without a commitment to roads and rail in Victoria, the city-centric government’s regional Victoria campaign is a farce.