LABOR’S Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said the state of Gippsland’s roads had contributed to a number of fatalities and serious accidents.
Ms Shing raised this issue in parliament on June 7.
“I refer to the parlous state of roads in the Eastern Victoria Region and in Gippsland, which have in and of themselves contributed more than their fair share of fatalities, serious injuries and near misses in the area,” Ms Shing said.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said Ms Shing’s comments were an admission the State Government was failing to keep Gippslanders safe.
Mr O’Brien said the state of country roads, especially those in Gippsland, had gone backwards under Labor.
“Here we have a Labor MP saying her own government’s lack of roads spending has caused the loss of life, serious injuries and numerous near-misses.
“Let’s not forget Labor has been in government now for 13 of the last 17 years,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Not only has Labor cut the annual roads maintenance budget by more than 10 per cent, they’ve abolished the Country Roads and Bridges Program that gave shires like Wellington and South Gippsland $1 million a year to spend on urgent local improvements.
“This program delivered a number of works across the region, including bridge upgrades on Agnes River Road, Summers Road near Fish Creek and Goads Road near Dumbalk North.”
Mr O’Brien said Labor was happy to announce huge windfalls of revenue as part of the recent budget but had not reinvested that additional funding to support our regional road network.
“In this year’s Budget the Roads Minister Luke Donnellan also announced Road Operations and Network Improvements funding was to be reduced by 3.4 per cent,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I hear regular complaints relating to roads and the lack of repairs being undertaken by the Labor Government and I call on the Minister to invest what is needed to improve our regional road network, that even his own colleague Ms Shing says is in a ‘parlous state’.”