Billions of dollars wasted on botched major tunnel projects; millions of dollars wasted defending Daniel Andrews and his gang from fatally botched hotel quarantine and now regional Victorian drivers will pay the penalties.
Nationals Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says with no money left in the Labor Government’s crippled economy, the latest solution to the decaying regional and country road network it cannot afford to upgrade is a potentially pathetic compromise.
Mr Walsh said the RACV, rather than urging the Andrews Labor Government to put money into fixing roads, is advocating for speed limits to be dropped.
He said a RACV spokesperson said lowering speed limits on back roads in the country might encourage drivers to use better standard highways.
“Unfortunately, highways in rural areas often aren’t up to scratch either, and more often than not, the ‘backroads’ are the only way for people to get to where they need to be,” Mr Walsh said.
“RACV comments that it would take too long and be too expensive to make country roads safe, shows the citycentric thinking that is leaving rural and regional Victorians behind,” he said.
“Simply slowing down country drivers and not spending money to fix roads and improve safety is lazy policy and treats country people with contempt.
“The Andrews Labor Government has spent more covering cost blowouts on city infrastructure projects than it has spent in regional Victoria.
“The government must use the upcoming State Budget to fix this disgraceful imbalance and commit a significant spend on rural and regional roads to bring them up to a standard which motorists deserve.”
Mr Walsh said Labor has been in government for 17 of the past 21 years and had clearly failed to maintain Victoria’s regional road network.
He said the continued neglect of regional roads; while spending hand over fist in the city, is a slap in the face for Victorians who work and live in the regions.
“Regional Victorians deserve their fair share,” Mr Walsh added.
“As more people leave Melbourne after continued lockdowns, our road network is only going to decline further, hampering the liveability of our country centres,” he said.
“Country drivers pay their RACV membership expecting the group will lobby the government on their behalf, but the RACV’s latest thoughts on country roads don’t go anywhere near doing that.
“Country people deserve to have roads the same standard as their city cousins – they deserve to be able to go about their daily businesses without being slowed down because of government incompetence.
“The best way to make our roads safer is to invest in fixing them – and not just installing wire rope barriers and lowering speed limits – by actually rebuilding road surfaces and clearing vegetation from road sides.”