With the Labor Government’s own Budget papers showing a 40 percent cut in roads maintenance funding over the past two years, and our roads in shocking condition, it has been asked to release its re-sealing program for the East Gippsland area this financial year.
Local Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said he was hearing the parlous state of the Budget meant the only major re-sealing that was to be done this year was in the flood impacted regions in the north of the state.
“At a time when our roads needed massive investment, they received another cut from a government that is broke and a Premier who has walked away and left a wreck behind him.
“I know Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) has a forward works program, so I have asked Minister Melissa Horne, apart from routine maintenance, what is the re-sealing budget for this year and what roads are scheduled for re-sealing.
“This will reveal what the road funding cuts mean on the ground,” he said.
Mr Bull said it was only last year that now Labor Minister, Vicky Ward, said concerns over the condition of country roads was an ‘imagined fantasy’ a comment that showed how out of touch Labor MP’s were.
“Hardly a week goes by when I am not reminded of the difference in road conditions from those who have come down the Monaro Highway. They tell me the road is perfect in NSW and on crossing the border it has craters and broken surfaces at regular intervals.
“I have some sympathy for the staff at RRV as they are getting smashed with complaints and have a government that has cut their funding enormously.
“When you go into the level of debt we have in Victoria, greater than Qld, NSW and Tasmania combined, you want something to show for it. You want to be able to say, ‘we have incurred debt, but we are well placed as a state’.
“However, we have record debt and are left with a roads, housing, health and mental health crisis to name just a few of the problems,” Mr Bull said.
Monday, 30 October 2023