The Labor Government’s inability to properly fund Victorian roads continues to have an impact across the state, with the cost of road repairs soaring following last year’s floods.
The price of fixing flood-impacted roads has skyrocketed in recent months, with the burden falling on struggling local councils.
Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said significant repairs to the neglected roads have been needed for some time, with heavy rainfall and floods only exacerbating the issue.
“We’re seeing the consequences of Labor’s lack of investment in Victoria’s deteriorating roads,” Ms Cleeland said.
“This crisis has been building since their first cut to the road maintenance budget in 2015.
“Now because of this lack of investment, local councils are buckling under the costs – especially in rural and flood-affected areas.”
In the Strathbogie Shire, projects planned to re-sheet and restore 227.68km of roads cost $14,799,070 prior to the floods.
Following the October floods, the damage bill is now estimated to triple – reaching as high as $50 million.
Meanwhile, the state government has not allocated a single cent to help local councils with the repair of these roads – the roads that take Victorians home and to work, school and shopping.
This is in stark contrast to the $500 million allocated by the NSW Government to help councils with road repairs.
The Municipal Association of Victoria says local roads and bridges were already in “dire straits” before the floods, which Ms Cleeland said everyone except Labor MPs acknowledged.
“The State Government must reinstate funding for road maintenance as a matter of urgency,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Proper maintenance and repairs on roads are crucial for the safety of motorists, emergency services personnel, and the community as a whole.”