Daniel Andrews has shown his contempt for rural and regional Victoria this week by wasting up to $800 million to not build the East West Link in Melbourne, while cutting vital funds for country roads.
Daniel Andrews has confirmed the Labor Government will pay $420 million to cancel the contract for the East West Link. This in addition to around $400 million in sunk costs already incurred by the State Government including land acquisitions, project development and bid costs.
Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure, Ryan Smith, said Daniel Andrews was spending around $800 million to avoid building a road in Melbourne yet couldn’t find $160 million to continue the Country Roads and Bridges Program.
“Daniel Andrews is ripping hundreds of millions of dollars out of rural and regional roads funding while at the same time paying up to $800 million to avoid building a road in Melbourne,” Mr Smith said.
“This is a slap in the face to country Victorians.”
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the scrapping of the Country Roads and Bridges program that supported councils was only part of the cuts to country roads.
“The government’s own policy is to spend $1billion on non-metropolitan roads over the next eight years. That’s $125 million per year, well short of the $500 million that was being spent by the Coalition.
“Our roads are in need of repair. We have a lot of works going on at the moment that were funded by the Coalition.
“People have seen the major works completed and underway on roads like the Princes Highway, Great Alpine Road and Omeo Highway to name just a few, but it appears the works schedule is about to dry up when there remains much more to do.
“We just can’t sit back and cop this in the neck. This Government must restore the funding to country roads that was in place over recent years,” Mr Bull said