Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has pushed the Andrews Labor Government to provide clarity about its regional roads and bridges funding.
In parliament on Tuesday Ms Sheed asked the Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan to detail how and where the $1 billion promised for regional roads and bridges will be spent.
“Local councils across regional Victoria, including Greater Shepparton City Council and Moira Shire Council in my electorate, have expressed great concern about access to vital ongoing funding for repairs to roads and bridges,” she said.
“Can the Minister urgently provide details as to how and when the $1 billion promised for roads and bridges before the last election will be provided to regional Victoria?
“Further, can he guarantee his government will at least match the previous government’s promise of $160 million for country roads and bridges?”
The Country Roads and Bridges Program ran for four years between 2010 and 2014, providing up to $1 million each per year to 40 councils.
“That funding was vital to local governments in rural and regional areas,” Ms Sheed said.
“It allowed them to employ local staff to repair the roads and bridges that they saw as the biggest priority, and reduced the pressure on their already tight budgets.
“With the introduction of rate capping from 2016-17 a commitment to this funding is especially important.”
Labor has so far announced $36 million for bridge repairs and $50 million for level crossings in rural and regional areas.
And the budget revealed $86.7 million to resurface unsafe, deteriorating road surfaces around the state.
7 May 2015