The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has highlighted the dangerous state of the Great Alpine Road in Gippsland’s high country in State Parliament this week.
Raising the issue on behalf of locals, Ms Bath called out unsatisfactory engineering works, substandard road repairs and poor communication from Regional Roads Victoria.
“The Great Alpine Road is the main thoroughfare connecting Omeo and high-country communities with local health, education and business centres in Bairnsdale, it’s also a well-worn pathway for tourists.
“It’s vital the Andrews Government repair and maintain the Great Alpine Road to the highest standard, instead of resourcing only substandard repairs which fail within a few months of completion.
“Residents are tired of the inferior road repairs which no sooner completed, crumble, causing damage to vehicles and compromising driver safety.
“My Nationals colleague Tim Bull regularly raises the state of the Great Alpine Road in state parliament, locals deserve a comprehensive response instead of Labor’s standard lip service”.
Ms Bath called on the Andrews Government to ensure that a long-term approach to Name Stone Point be adopted after last year’s works failed.
“Local contractors can only repair roads to the Andrews Government specifications and budget.
“While works are again underway at Name Stone Point – the community is rightly sceptical of the quality of any completed work.
“Locals want assurances from Labor that Name Stone Point work will be completed properly this time, to a high engineering standard for safe and unimpeded access.”
Ms Bath said frustratingly the continually failing road repairs performed on The Great Alpine Road is not an isolated problem.
“Regional roads right across Gippsland are suffering from inferior maintenance and patch up jobs,” said Ms Bath.
“With a focus on lowering speeds limits rather than sound structural repairs, Labor’s country roads policy lacks funding and accountability.
“The Premier expects our vehicles to be roadworthy, but he fails to ensure our country roads are car worthy.
“Reducing speed limits on regional roads doesn’t fill potholes or repair surfaces that are continually failing.
“While cutting regional road maintenance, Labor has poured $52 billion into four projects in Melbourne – which includes six billion dollars that’s been wasted on poor management.”
Ms Bath said if elected to state government this year The Nationals would reinstate the successful Country Roads and Bridges Program.
“This program provided vital funding to rural councils to upgrade our regional roads to a high standard but was ditched by the Daniel Andrews to the detriment of regional Victorians,” said Ms Bath.