Rural roads ignored in budget

Rural and regional roads will continue to crumble with the Andrews Labor Government failing to deliver any additional maintenance funding in the 2021-22 State Budget.


State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish knows without significant funds, country roads will get worse as Labor continues to chase its tail by providing quick fixes patching holes without addressing the underlying cause of surface deterioration.


Ms McLeish said, “We have many country highways in the region that require urgent repair and have for years, including along the Melba Highway, Maroondah Highway at several points, Warburton Highway and Goulburn Valley Highway.”


“Labor’s failure to invest any new funds into road maintenance shows it simply doesn’t care about the country. They have again pushed regional towns and matters to the side.”


The condition of country roads and highways has turned into a major safety issue for drivers. Families, motorbikes, trucks, freight, horse floats and caravans that frequently travel on these roads are in constant danger of the deteriorating road conditions or are held up by spot roadwork repairs that don’t last.


As costs for materials continue to rise, it will cost more to do the work – meaning even less roads will get attention despite the worsening deterioration.


There is also no transparency about how much of the road funding is spent on the rural network compared to the metro network.


Ms McLeish continues, “This budget explains why Labor has been floating the idea of lowering speed limits on country roads – because they don’t want to invest the cash to fix them properly and it’s easier to just stick up a sign.”


Country motorists have been let down again by the Andrews Labor Government and while billions of dollars are poured into infrastructure project cost blowouts in the city – country motorist are left with goat tracks instead of high quality, safe roads.


“The Andrews Labor Government have spent more money patching up cost blowouts on major projects in Melbourne than they have on fixing our rural and regional roads.”


“This budget increases taxes but country motorists will have nothing to show for the extra they are paying,” Ms McLeish concludes.

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