Country roads – report needs action
The VFF welcomes the Interim Report of the Inquiry into VicRoads’ Management of Country Roads as a positive step towards repairing Victoria’s degraded regional roads.
“We support this Interim Report being referred to the next Parliament for urgent action. We must ensure the management of regional roads is properly examined,” said Ross Johns, Victorian Farmers Federation Grains President.
“The report highlights that over the past two decades, the volume of people and freight travelling on Victoria’s country roads has increased by 20 per cent, yet funding has stalled.
“The maintenance of these roads has been completely neglected, and leading into the 2018 state election, the VFF is asking all parties and candidates to commit the funding needed to fix our neglected country road network” said Mr Johns.
The Victorian Farmers Federation hopes that this Inquiry, in conjunction with commencement of VicRoads CEO Michael Malouf, and the formation of Regional Roads Victoria, will be the beginning of significant improvements in the way country roads are managed and will deliver for agriculture.
“We have recently seen the Premier of Victoria announce $5 billion in funding to establish a train line from Melbourne airport to the city. We look forward to a similar funding commitment for rural and regional roads,” said Mr Johns.
“Victoria’s food and fibre supply chain relies on the road network to transport over $13 billion worth of produce to market each year.
“The state of regional roads threatens Victoria’s ability to remain globally competitive and it puts lives at risk every day.
“The 335 submissions made to this Inquiry demonstrate that the poor state of regional roads is a significant concern for residents of rural Victoria.
“Increased funding is crucial to ensure Victoria has a country road network which is fit-for-purpose, safe and supports the productivity of Victoria as a whole.”
For media inquiries, please contact Andrew MacDonald on 0418 282 875 or (03) 9207 5524.