The Andrews Government is scrambling to look busy while Victoria’s roads fall apart, putting lives at risk, after successive funding cuts and a grossly inadequate response to the October major flooding event.
Following reports that Labor will again raid the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and slash road safety projects, the government this week belatedly announced a trial of Digital Driver Licences and touted a roads repair package from before the last state election.
The government’s own Transport Department has found “significantly accelerated deterioration” across the network after a study of 8400km of road. The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) estimates $1 billion is needed for post-flood reconstruction, but the government has only provided $165 million, and the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has estimated that councils can maintain just 65% of their roads.
Shadow Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Danny O’Brien, said Victorians know there is a crisis in our roads and that more investment must be made to save lives.
“The crisis on our roads has been building since Labor’s first cuts to the road maintenance budget when they came to government in 2015.”
“Labor must reverse their savage cuts to the road maintenance budget and urgently invest in improving our roads, because safe roads save lives. This must include help for local councils who simply can’t keep up with the maintenance backlog since Labor axed the Country Roads and Bridges Program.”
“Victorians who use our decaying roads know they’re in a dire state, and it’s even worse in flood affected regions.”
Mr O’Brien also said the government cannot hide from the data, with 116 lives lost on Victorian roads in 2023 so far, up 31.8% on this time last year.
“In this month’s State Budget, the Andrews Government must reverse its savage cuts to road maintenance and road safety projects.”
“Safe roads save lives, and the best road safety package is adequate road maintenance funding.”