Roads 'rough as guts'
Transport operators have exposed the toll of regional Victoria’s crumbling road network, with reports today revealing rough roads are making it harder to hire truck drivers and sending the cost of vehicle repairs skyrocketing.
According to a Victorian Coalition statement today:
Transport operators who have been involved in the industry for decades say road quality is dragging down retention of drivers who don’t want to drive a road network that’s“rough as guts”.
Regional Victorian motorists are also demanding answers after media reports earlier this week exposed the State Government’s secret, systematic raid of a public Trust fund intended to be invested back into road safety.
Shadow Minister for Roads Steph Ryan said when the Better Roads Victoria trust account was established a third was required to be put back into regional Victoria, but murky reporting by the State Government left serious questions about where millions of dollars have ended up.
“Country roads are a mess of dangerous potholes and hazards, risking the lives of country Victorian drivers every single day,” Ms Ryan said.
"It's little wonder our roads are falling apart when Labor has raided the trust account set up to deliver better roads and stopped reporting key measures, leading to cuts in funding for road maintenance.
“Labor’s legacy on regional roads is a hazardous mess of cuts to road safety and less funding for safe roads in regional Victoria.”
Parliamentary hearings also recently exposed more drastic cuts in the 2022-23 Victorian Budget, taking the total Labor’s cut from road asset management to $200 million in the past two years alone.
By contrast, an elected Liberals and Nationals government will put 25 per cent of new infrastructure spending back into regional Victoria in our first term with the nation’s first Regional Infrastructure Guarantee.
Ms Ryan said this guarantee is a public commitment to prioritise proper road maintenance and the construction of new infrastructure assets in regional Victoria.
"The Labor Government’s ‘Regional’ Roads Victoria is nothing more than a branding exercise,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Andrews Labor Government has gutted funding for rural roads and the construction and maintenance of roads outside of Melbourne.
“I’m taking a list of Victoria’s worst roads to the Minister later this year. All Victorians are urged to contribute and have their voice heard by nominating the state’s worst road at VicsWorstRoad.vote”