Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Roma Britnell, has today visited West Gippsland to see firsthand how a lack of investment in regional roads by Daniel Andrews is hurting local communities.
Speaking in Warragul, Mrs Britnell said the upcoming State Budget, due to be handed down next week, needed to deliver a significant boost to regional road funding to get maintenance and upgrades back on track.
‘Under Daniel Andrews we’re seeing a very clear divide between investment made in metropolitan Victoria and regional Victoria particularly when it comes to road funding,’ Mrs Britnell said.
‘We have a shambolic mess of road maintenance under Daniel Andrews that waits until a road is in the worst state possible before works are carried out.
‘Daniel Andrews’ record on road investment is shameful, using funding from the Country Roads and Bridges Fund to fix bridges in his own metropolitan electorate.
‘The Victorian Liberal-Nationals Coalition will always stand up for Regional Victorians unlike Daniel Andrews who seems to have forgotten it even exists,’ said Mrs Britnell.
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said road maintenance and road funding were two of the most common complaints he received when visiting regional towns from local residents.
‘My office is always receiving calls from concerned locals about dangerous pot holes or road surface failures which have been left for long periods even after they have been reported,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Regional communities just want their fair share of road maintenance funding and a clear plan about how works will be prioritised and carried out.
‘Regional transport businesses, farmers and residents have told me how the state of roads often result in damage to their vehicles or create inefficiencies because they have to travel well below the speed limit for safety or even avoid certain roads altogether.
‘We cannot have a situation where poor road maintenance leads to these outcomes or even worse results in an accident that costs lives.
‘Daniel Andrews needs to outline in this state budget how he plans to fix the situation and how quickly funding will flow to regional roads which are crying out for works,’ said Mr Blackwood.