Benalla roads to suffer under Labor

26 March 2015

Bridges may close and others may become severely restricted as a result of Daniel Andrews’ decision to axe country roads funding, Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said today.

Ms Ryan said councils in the Euroa electorate had warned they may have to close some bridges and place load limits on others because of the Andrews Labor government’s decision to rip $375 million out of the rural roads budget, including the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.

 “The additional pressure to fund works that would have been provided for under the Country Roads and Bridges Program will leave Benalla Rural City with less funding for other important community projects.

“This means that Benalla residents who rely heavily on the council road network are left to pick up the slack left by the Labor government and could have to start paying higher rates to fund projects in the municipality,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan said that in Labor’s 2014 Policy Platform a “lack of investment in local roads” was highlighted as an issue, yet the Labor Government had made the decision to pull the very funding program that targeted the problem.

“The Country Roads and Bridges program is funded in the Budget until June this year and the previous Liberal National Coalition Government had committed to funding it for another four years.”

Ms Ryan said that Daniel Andrews had recently announced funding for regional roads and bridges however the money was already existing funding from the VicRoads budget.

“The Government has simply bundled up existing maintenance funding from the VicRoads budget and attached a new name to it to distract from Daniel Andrew’s decision to axe the Country Road and Bridges Program.

“Considering Daniel Andrews is spending $11 billion on the Melbourne Metro Rail Link, $8 billion to remove Melbourne level crossings and $100 million on a ballroom at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station, the least he could do is commit to country roads and bridges funding,” Ms Ryan said.

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