>> Let­ter to the edi­tor

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

Com­mit­ment to main­tain our roads

ROADS are the lifeblood of coun­try com­mu­ni­ties — that’s why we’re in­vest­ing more than ever be­fore to make our coun­try roads safer and stronger.

Since com­ing to of­fice, the An­drews La­bor Govern­ment has dou­bled spend­ing on road main­te­nance.

Over the next 12 months VicRoads will be do­ing more pave­ment work than it has done in decades, part of our $530 mil­lion in­vest­ment to im­prove re­gional roads.

In this fi­nan­cial year alone, VicRoads will fix more than 1,400 km of roads across the state.

And we’re not just fill­ing pot holes; we’re re­build­ing en­tire sec­tions of some of our most crit­i­cal links.

West of Echuca, we’re re­build­ing a sec­tion of the Mur­ray Val­ley High­way at Wharpar­illa to make it more re­li­able for the re­gion’s grain and fruit pro­duc­ers.

We’re do­ing ma­jor work on the Mur­ray Val­ley High­way at Reedy Lake, Echuca-Mooroopna Road at Wyuna East, Sun­raysia High­way at Mor­ton Plains and on PrairieRochester Road.

We’re also build­ing the in­fra­struc­ture that we know saves lives on ru­ral roads.

We’re rolling out more than 1,700 km of wire rope bar­ri­ers, up­grad­ing road shoul­ders and widen­ing cen­tre lines on the state’s most dan­ger­ous coun­try roads.

The VicRoads main­te­nance bud­get was $157 mil­lion in the last year of the pre­vi­ous Lib­eral/Na­tional govern­ment – this year we have al­lo­cated $343.2 mil­lion to main­te­nance.

One thing is clear — the Lib­er­als and Na­tion­als chron­i­cally un­der­funded road main­te­nance. Only La­bor is in­vest­ing the money needed to keep peo­ple safe on our roads.

By dump­ing the dud East West Link in the city, we’ve been able to re­di­rect $690 mil­lion in fund­ing to re­gional roads up­grades.

It was the right call and one, as Min­is­ter, I am proud to stand by.

But we will not stop in­vest­ing in our crit­i­cal roads in­fra­struc­ture.

The VicRoads’ se­nior lead­er­ship team has spent the last few weeks tour­ing coun­try Vic­to­ria, talk­ing to lo­cals about how they can bet­ter plan, build, man­age and main­tain the

We’re not just fill­ing pot holes

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