The Parliamentary Inquiry into the Sustainability and Operational Challenges of Victoria’s Rural and Regional Councils has heard this week that country councils are struggling to meet the high costs of maintaining their roads network.
Giving evidence to the inquiry this week, Local Government Victoria confirmed that rural councils have a disproportionately large volume of infrastructure to maintain compare to metropolitan counterparts, but significantly lower revenue streams.
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, said that the Andrews Labor Government had undermined regional road funding since coming to government and it was time proven funding program such as the Country Roads and Bridges Program were reintroduced to assist councils.
‘Regional councils on average manage an average of 2,200km of roads, four times more than city-based councils,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘The Andrews Labor Government was incredibly quick on coming to government in defunding the Liberal-Nationals’ hugely successful Country Roads and Bridges Program that directly assisted regional council road projects,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Regional communities were rightly outraged in 2015 when Daniel Andrews used funding he described as for ‘country’ bridges to upgrade 10 bridges close to metropolitan Melbourne.
‘Primary producers, transport companies and locals are more and more seeing reduced speed limits, warning signs and road closures or detours due to this lack of funding.
‘Our road networks are crumbling in regional Victoria and urgent funding is needed to improve safety,’ said Mr Blackwood.
A policy framework to help guide Victorian population growth is being developed by the Victorian Liberal National Coalition. Member for Kew and chair of the Taskforce, Tim Smith, met yesterday with business leaders and community members in Traralgon and later spoke with the Committee for Gippsland in Warragul. Nationals Member for Eastern Region Melina BathContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said Premier Daniel Andrews has left many critical Narracan projects off the map in this year’s State Budget, only investing the bare minimum in the region. In responding to the Victorian Budget Mr Blackwood said Daniel Andrews has misled Gippsland about potential V/Line improvements announcing funding he simply doesContinue Reading
The Andrews Labor Governments cuts to country road maintenance funding are starting to bite in regional Victoria with VicRoads having to drop speed limits to protect motorists on roads where no funding is available to repair surfaces. Speaking in Parliament Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said a number of local residents had approached him regardingContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has welcomed today’s opening of the new Sand Road Interchange which has greatly improved safety at one of regional Victoria’s most dangerous intersections. Mr Blackwood said the upgrade was absolutely necessary to improve safety for motorists who relied on the intersection on a regular basis. ‘The grade separation of SandContinue Reading
Labor Member for Eastern Victoria Ms Harriet Shing has openly criticised the state of roads in Gippsland during this week’s sitting of the Victorian Parliament. “I refer to the parlous state of roads in the Eastern Victoria Region and in Gippsland, which have in and of themselves contributed more than their fair share of fatalities,Continue Reading
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