The Nationals will invest $10 billion into our crumbling road network and re-establish the Country Roads & Bridges program.
Over $200 million has been cut from road maintenance by Labor in the last two years alone. This, along with poor construction standards and an increase in freight, has contributed to dangerous road deterioration.
In fact, the Victorian Auditor-General made damning conclusions in 2017 that Victorian roads were being mismanaged with a lack of state-wide planning, poor data collection and reactive – not proactive – road maintenance decisions.
To secure the long-term investment that our roads require, The Nationals will invest $10 billion over the next 10 years in maintaining our road network. This will enable longer-term contracts that will incentivise longer-term planning and investment.
This is in addition to necessary emergency roads repair packages, such as in response to the major flooding events that have affected our regional communities in 2022.
The appalling state of our roads is not because of just one flood event, and a one-off package for emergency repairs will not address the long-term crisis facing Victorian roads under Labor.
The Nationals will fix construction standards and increase accountability for our road maintenance works, meaning our roads will be better and safer for longer.
Additionally, The Nationals will re-establish the successful Country Roads & Bridges program with $288 million for local councils to maintain local road and bridge networks.
Under this program, each rural and regional shire and council will receive an annual grant of $1.5 million every year over four years to maintain local roads and bridges. These grants will be in addition to existing funding.
Labor cut the Country Roads & Bridges program in 2014, but The Nationals know that our councils need support to maintain our roads and to place downward pressure on our rates.
Safer country roads save country lives, and only The Nationals will deliver the investment needed to improve our crumbling road network.