Vital funding for regional roads must be a key focus of next month’s State Budget, Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Region Gaelle Broad said today.
“The State Budget on 23rd May is fast approaching, and it’s time the Government took this issue seriously and prioritised regional road funding.”
“Many of our regional and rural roads are in poor condition,” Ms Broad said.
“We’re tired of dodging potholes, reduced speed limits, and sharing single lane roads with heavy transport vehicles,” Ms Broad said.
“Residents are being forced to pay for vehicle repairs and increased wear-and-tear on their cars because of the lack of state government investment in our roads”.
Ms Broad said she had spoken to local councils who are crying out for state government funding to maintain better roads, especially in flood affected areas.
“After years of underfunding, our regional and rural roads are in disrepair, and the Victorian Floods last year made bad roads even worse.”
“When it comes to road maintenance, we need to ensure the job is done properly the first time, instead of temporary band-aid solutions that only last weeks or months until the next heavy rain causes more potholes and rough surfaces.”
“The Labor Government cut the road maintenance budget by 10 per cent when it came into office, and axed the Country Roads and Bridges Program.
“A further $215 million has been cut over the past two budgets, and now Victorians are seeing the results.”
Ms Broad said: “This Government has made big promises and under delivered when it comes to providing basic government services.”
“The Labor Government has failed to manage the state budget, and Victorians are now paying for it,” Ms Broad said.
“Victoria’s debt is already over $100 billion, significantly higher than any other state or territory, and more than the combined debt of NSW, Queensland and Tasmania.”
“Instead of our money going towards building better roads, Victorians are paying over $10 million every day to meet the interest repayments on our state debt.”
“When international tourists come to regional Victoria for the Commonwealth Games in 2026, we want them stopping to enjoy our silo art, rather than street art around potholes,” Ms Broad said.
“While billions are being poured into Melbourne based projects, in regional Victoria we are driving on roads that look like a patchwork quilt and toss you around like a washing machine.
“The Labor Government needs to invest in all of Victoria, and commit to making regional road funding a priority in the Budget,” Ms Broad said.