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Crumbling country roads just ‘imagined fantasy’, Labor MP says

Country drivers who complain that dangerous potholes are hazards on the rural road network are living in “imagined fantasies”, according to bizarre claims by a city Labor MP in Victorian Parliament.

The accusation was levelled during parliamentary debate in a tirade about road safety by Labor Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward MP.

State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish said, “These comments are another example of the city-centric Andrews Labor Governments naivety when it comes to regional Victorian roads.”

“Labor MPs clearly have no idea about crumbling road shoulders, dangerously rough surfaces and potholes that plague our roads.”

“I have been calling for regional road repairs to take place for years. The Melba Highway, Maroondah Highway, Goulburn Valley Highway are subject to quick fixes that never last.”

“Road safety signs, band-aid fixes and lowering the speed limit should not be used to hide the problems that have been created by Labor’s underinvestment to our roads.”

Country motorists have been let down by the Andrews Labor Government and while billions of dollars are poured into infrastructure project cost blowouts in the city – country motorists are left with goat tracks instead of high quality, safe roads.

In last year’s state budget, road asset maintenance funding took a staggering hit, dropping to $616 million from $823 million, a whopping 25 per cent.

At the same time the Government has recorded massive blow outs for major projects. These include the North East Link which has a budget blowout of $10.79 billion, Level Crossing Removals budget blowout of $3.3 billion and the West Gate Tunnel has a budget blowout of $2.7 billion

Since elected in 2014, State Labor has also axed the Country Roads and Bridges maintenance program and abolished a joint parliamentary committee that had overseen road safety since 1967.

The Committee’s work led to transformational initiatives around road safety and measures which have led to a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on Victorian roads.

“Only a change in government in November will ensure our roads are up to scratch, that potholes are repaired properly and that road surfaces are safe,” Ms McLeish concludes.


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