The Andrews Labor Government must urgently inject additional funds to fix Victoria’s dilapidated road network as years of budget cuts, waste and last year’s floods take their toll.
Victorian roads remain in a dire condition as state government funding for post-flood reconstruction begins to peter out and local roads are ignored altogether.
Recent media reports indicate that $130 million has already been spent of $165 million allocated by the Labor Government last October for repairs of flood affected roads around the state.
The Victorian Transport Association estimates $1 billion is needed for post-flood reconstruction and repair work.
Meanwhile, the state government has not allocated a single cent to help local councils with the repair of local 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 a “dire straits” before the floods, as everyone except Labor MPs seems to acknowledge.
Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, said the Andrews Labor Government needs to urgently allocate additional funding to fix our roads.
“The money announced so far by the government is a drop in the ocean and doesn’t go anywhere near enough to fix our roads.
“Labor is kidding itself if it thinks the poor state of our roads is the result of last year’s floods – the crisis has been building since Labor’s first cut to the road maintenance budget way back in 2015.
“Our arterial roads are still in need of significant work, while local councils are buckling under the weight of the roads maintenance backlog they’re facing, especially in rural and flood-affected areas.
“Labor needs to immediately announce more funding to net our roads fixed and reverse its $215 million budget cut from the last two years. Our roads can’t wait till the budget in May, this needs to happen now.”
Ms Cleeland said the MAV’s pre-budget submission calls for a minimum $320 million program to support council’s in fixing local roads.
“After axing the Country Roads and Bridges program when it came to government, Labor has presided over an ever-deteriorating roads network, while wasting $30 billion of taxpayers’ money on cost blow-outs on its mega-transport projects.
“Just imagine what those funds could have done for our roads,” Ms Cleeland said.