Road resurfacing and maintenance activities have been all but abandoned by the Andrews Government as Victoria’s financial woes worsen.
Roads performance measures in the 2023-2024 budget continue to be “to be confirmed”, with the State Government refusing to divulge the actual target.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said her electorate was home to some of the state’s worst roads.
“There are potholes, crumbling road sides and compromised surfaces in almost every town and suburb in Eastern Victoria – the M1 Princes Highway from Gippsland to Pakenham is a disgrace, along with the C class roads relied on by commuters and transport industry.
“Labor’s pothole patching program is cheap, temporary, and totally ineffective.
“The Andrews Government is drowning it debt from its Melbourne centric bungled big build and it’s scrambling to cut a dollar from anywhere.”
Ms Bath said road users often explain their frustrations, reiterating that regional roads are neither safe nor car worthy, and sadly this is confirmed in road crash statistics.
“The financial cost of poor road maintenance is huge – blown tyres, broken rims and in worse case scenarios, major collisions and personal injury caused by loss of control.
“The TAC statistics show lives lost in 2023 is already up 25 per cent, with a whopping 60 per cent of these deaths occurring outside of Melbourne in provincial towns, and on rural roads.
“The Nationals are concerned at the over representation of fatalities on country roads.
“At the last election we made a commitment to fund 10 billion dollars over 10 years on road maintenance – The Nationals understand our roads desperately need proper maintenance and investment over a prolonged period.
“If the Andrews Government believed its own Towards Zero message it would prioritise roads outside the CBD, instead of blowing billions on cancelled contracts and consultants.
“The overwhelming majority of drivers do everything they can do to arrive at their destination safely.
“It’s a shocking indictment that Labor is budgeting less on our roads maintenance now than 10 years ago – when you factor in inflation, it’s track record’s a disgrace.”