Footy exodus exposes Victoria’s rotten roads

Media Releases » Footy exodus exposes Victoria’s rotten roads

As footy fans made the journey to and from South Australia for the AFL Gather Round, they became too well acquainted with the deplorable condition of country roads in western Victoria.

VFF President Emma Germano said the neglect of Victoria’s regional road network was plain to see for people from Melbourne who made the journey to support their team.

“I have heard stories from people who were shocked to see the stark difference in the quality of roads as they crossed the border.”

“Victorians shouldn’t have to drive to South Australia just to drive on a decent bit of bitumen.”

Ms Germano said the failure to maintain Victoria’s regional roads were adding costs for farmers and regional Victorians.

“The country roads crisis is only adding to the cost-of-living crisis. I’ve heard of many vehicles that were stranded on the Western Highway just this weekend with shredded tyres and cracked wheels.”

“What was an expensive trip for footy fans is nothing compared to the expense that farmers and regional Victorians are being forced to endure every day.”

“Farmers are actively having to choose alternative freight routes to avoid rotten roads. This is driving down productivity, adding cost to food production and making farming even more difficult.”

Ms Germano said she had written to Treasurer Tim Pallas ahead of the state budget, highlighting the urgent need for investment in regional road infrastructure.

“Victorian farmers and regional businesses rely on our road networks to transport goods to market, access essential services, and connect with customers.”

“The ongoing dilapidated state of our country roads not only poses significant safety risks but also hampers productivity and economic growth in regional areas.”

“It is crucial that the state government recognises the urgency of this issue and allocates adequate funding to address the maintenance backlog and prevent further deterioration.”

“It’s safe to say, plenty more people will be parking the car at home and choosing to fly to next year’s footy festival.”