The slashing of State Government roads budgets have been highlighted by Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, during a speech in Lakes Entrance on Friday morning.
Mr Bull was speaking to a range of industry representatives at the South Eastern Australian Transport Strategy (SEATS) meeting at the Palmers Road shire offices.
“The reality is our roads are getting worse and the cold hard facts are that we have had roads funding cuts to rural and regional Victoria,” he told the audience.
“We have the Government spending millions upon millions on combatting the road toll and often the country road toll, which I have no objection with – but at the same time it is cutting roads funding and our roads are deteriorating – it makes no sense.”
“The Road Asset and Management Budget is down $113.8m over the past two years and the Road Operations and Network Improvement Budget is down $307m over the past two years.
“On top of this we have also had the Country Roads and Bridges Program scrapped (which allocated funding to rural and regional councils).
“These budgets needed to increase, but they have not even been maintained – we have lost half a billion out of these areas in two years that should have been spent on our roads.
“Our roads weren’t that great that we could afford the budgets to be decreased, at the bare minimum they needed to be maintained and increased at CPI,” he said.
Mr Bull also spoke on the need for investment in rail to allow for more passenger and freight services, and said the Coalition would look at future planning options for development of a third major airport east of Melbourne.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, with East Gippsland Shire Council Manager Works, Mark Burnett, and Cr Maryanne Pelz, at the South East Australian Transport Strategy meeting in Lakes Entrance on Friday.
Friday, February 17, 2017