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
Gippsland rail commuters are suffering through constant delays, cancellations and replacement buses it has been revealed this week. Speaking in State Parliament this week, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said commuter complaints to his office had increased dramatically under the Andrews Labor Government and that frequently those complaints related to the clear lack of reliabilityContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today thanked the Federal Transport Minister Hon. Darren Chester MP and Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent MP for their commitment to Victorian regional rail with the announcement of $500 million for upgrades in last nights Federal Budget. ‘This investment by the Federal Minister for Transport means projects like the duplicationContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today welcomed the announcement of 3 new carriages for the Gippsland line which will assist commuters on two peak services at 6:27am to Melbourne from Traralgon and 4:58pm to Traralgon from Melbourne. ‘I welcome today’s announcement from the Victorian Government that new carriages will appear on these services butContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said today’s announcement of 10 additional off peak services will not address overcrowding on the Gippsland Line. ‘October's V/Line capacity report showed that again two of our three most important peak services, the 4:16pm and 4:58pm weekday services, operated at or above 100% capacity. ‘Clearly if the Andrews LaborContinue Reading
Gippsland Coalition Members Gary Blackwood and Russell Northe have said they will oppose any move by the Andrews Labor Government to remove V/Line trains from using the metropolitan rail network as proposed by the Regional Citizen Jury which is part of Daniel Andrews Infrastructure Victoria. In a report released 30 July 2016, the Citizen JuryContinue 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
The release of the Regional Network Development Plan designed to drive future investment in regional transport will come as a bad joke to local commuters according to Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood and Member for Morwell Russell Northe. After a year of waiting, the Regional Network Development Plan has been released and contains no immediateContinue Reading
The Victorian Labor Government’s Budget has again missed the mark in Narracan for a second consecutive year under Daniel Andrews. Four local schools will see upgrades after being forgotten by the Labor Government in the 2015-16 State Budget however many of the upgrades won’t be seen until 2018-19 and funds allocated fall well shortContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the Andrews Government to support local tourism and businesses in Jindivick by providing directional tourism signs at the Sand Road & Princes Freeway interchange which is currently undergoing a major upgrade. The call for tourism signage comes following a petition by the Jindivick Progress Association whichContinue Reading
State Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the Andrews Labor Government to keep its word and deliver at least 10 per cent from the proceeds of the sale of the Port of Melbourne to regional Victoria for transport investment as promised just weeks ago. The agreement for 10% of the Port saleContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has this week used debate in the Victorian Parliament to again seek information for local commuters on the Gippsland Line from the Minister for Public Transport. In addressing Parliament, Mr Blackwood said the failure by the former Brumby Labor Government to include Gippsland in the Regional Rail Link Project wasContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today said Premier Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan continue to mislead Gippsland commuters about the extent of disruptions on the Gippsland line. ‘Today’s release from Minister Allan attempts to hide the extent of disruption that Gippsland rail commuters will face until at least the 13 MarchContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan to extend free travel and provide clearer and more accurate information to commuters about the disruption they are facing on the Gippsland line. ‘Gippsland commuters have suffered through another week of confusion and delay with still no date in place forContinue Reading
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