The Andrews Labor Government has no clear plan to improve and maintain the crumbling road system in regional Victoria despite patting itself on the back during the last sitting of Victoria Parliament for a job well done.
In the last sitting of parliament for the year Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll spruiked the government’s supposed road maintenance blitz, saying almost 12,000km had been resurfaced statewide since 2014.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said the condition of regional and rural roads continued to be one of the biggest issues facing families and the freight industry in the electorate.
“It is shameful that the Minister would boast about 12,000km of roads being resurfaced in Victoria and nothing has actually improved,” Ms Britnell said.
“Our rural roads continue to deteriorate while this government’s approach is to fix our roads pothole by pothole, just making things worse.
“And now we hear taxpayers will have to stump up an extra $1.9 billion to complete the West Gate Tunnel road project in Melbourne. This government’s mismanagement on roads projects is disgraceful.”
Ms Britnell said the government needed to heed Infrastructure Victoria’s scathing report from August this year on the condition of Victoria’s regional roads and respond with proper policy.
Infrastructure Victoria called on a dedicated 10-year funding program for regional road maintenance.
“Infrastructure Victoria’s report found more and more of regional Victoria’s roads are in a poor condition, causing safety concerns as well as higher travel costs due to increased travel times and the increasing need for vehicle maintenance,” Ms Britnell said.
“The evidence is clear – regional roads are in a worse state now than ever.
“Roads in South West Coast have been deteriorating for years despite constant representations to the Minister – both in and outside of parliament – but there just is not a consistent strategy from this government to actually invest wisely and fix the problem.”