Regional Roads funding furore

Daniel Andrews is directing a further $2.5 billion dollars a further 10 level crossing removals in Melbourne while regional roads continue to suffer from neglect and chronic under funding says The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath.

“Gippsland’s C Class Roads are the responsibility of the Andrews Government and sadly throughout Gippsland they are increasingly defined by rough surfaces, poor patch jobs and lowered speed limits,” said Ms Bath.

The Andrews Government keeps boasting it’s improving safety and travel time in Melbourne – but what about safety and travel time for regional Victorians – the reality is we are being dished up shoddy road maintenance and budget cuts.

“The entire road maintenance budget for regional Victoria doesn’t even come close to the money being spent on these 10 level crossing removals in Melbourne.

“In 2021/2022 the budget for road maintenance is $616.9 million which represents a 25 percent cut from the previous year and significantly less than three level crossing removals which cost on average $250 million each.”

Ms Bath said one of the biggest sources of complaint she receives is on the appalling state of regional roads in Gippsland.

“Quality road maintenance is well overdue on many of our major arterial routes and frustratingly any works undertaken are not completed to an acceptable standard,” said Ms Bath.

“The Traralgon Maffra road is a prime example – six months ago widening works occurred on this road and today this work is crumbling causing serious hazards for drivers.

“These works were meant to make the Traralgon Maffra Road safer, but outrageously the works have resulted in dangerous ruts which have been re-patched once, but were already disintegrating again.

“Over two months ago I raised the dangerous and substandard roads maintenance works performed on the Traralgon Maffra Road with Labor’s Roads Minister, highlighting safety concerns and the urgent need for action the surface.

“Gippslanders are fed up with rough surfaces, potholes and crumbling patch jobs on our roads.

“The disproportionate roads funding between Melbourne and regional Victoria is both infuriating and unfair.

“Labor must start prioritising regional roads maintenance across the entire regional road C Class network.

“These roads connect rural communities and they are used by emergency services, transport and freight and the food and fibre industry – safety upgrades must be completed to an acceptable standard.”