Labor puts the brakes on funding for Euroa's roads
26 February 2015
Residents of the Euroa electorate will be dodging more pot holes and paying higher rates thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to cut the Country Roads and Bridges program which will leave country councils $40 million short each year, Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said today.
Ms Ryan said the Andrews Labor Government had refused to continue the popular $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program which the previous Coalition Government had committed to continuing before the election last year.
“Labor’s decision to cut vital funding for the maintenance of country roads is a slap in the face to communities in rural and regional Victoria,” Ms Ryan said.
“Ratepayers across Benalla, Campaspe, Mitchell and Strathbogie will have to pick up an additional $1 million a year as a result of Labor’s cuts.
“The Country Roads and Bridges Program was introduced by the previous Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government to assist councils with maintenance of local roads and bridges, placing downwards pressure on rates by offsetting the costs associated with ongoing road maintenance,” Ms Ryan said.
The program had been funded in the Budget until June 30 this year and the previous Coalition Government had committed to funding the project for a further four years.
“It is incredibly disappointing to see that the Andrews Labor Government is now trying to re-write history saying funding for Country Roads and Bridges had expired,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said the decision meant increased pressure on councils to come up with the money for important local road works, for example works on Sunday Creek (Northwood Road) Bridge, Kings Lane in Kilmore, Creightons Creek Road, Heathcote Redesdale Road, Murchison Road and the Seymour-Avenel Road.
“Our Country Roads and Bridges Program meant country Victorians and their families had better, safer roads to travel, while local councils had more money to spend on other important community programs and infrastructure,” Ms Ryan said.
“Last year the Coalition Government’s total investment on roads maintenance was over $500 million compared to Daniel Andrews’ plan to invest $1 billion over eight years into regional roads totalling just $125 million a year.
“Daniel Andrews and Labor do not care about country communities and they have made that clear by refusing to continue the Country Roads and Bridges Program,” Ms Ryan said.