The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says more than one year after Victoria’s devastating 2022 flood event, the state’s crumbling roads are worse than ever and continue to fall into disrepair.
Recent statistics from self-reporting app, Snap, Send, Solve reveal an enormous 272% increase in pothole reports in Victoria over the last 12 months and VFF President Emma Germano said the buck must stop somewhere.
“It’s been more than a year since parts of Victoria were inundated with the worst flooding in recent memory, completely tearing apart an already collapsing regional road network. Yes, some parts of the network have been fixed, but by and large regional Victorians are driving on completely unsafe and deteriorating roads.”
“Road maintenance funding just keeps going backwards, so it’s no wonder why our roads keep going from bad to worse.”
“These half-baked patch-up jobs on our major regional arterials and highways are just putting a band aid over the problem and getting us nowhere,” Ms Germano said.
Ms Germano says the VFF is seeking a comprehensive funding package in the next Victorian state budget help alleviate our regional road crisis.
“We need actual dollars in the budget over the next four years to give road managers certainty which is needed to properly plan and deliver maintenance and repairs.”
“Dedicated funding for local government to repair road networks damaged in the 2022 floods must be a priority as well as reintroducing the Fixing Country Roads program to help local government are responsible for most of the state’s road network.”
Ms Germano said the Victorian Government needs to allocate resources to ensure that roads are not only repaired, but are improved in the process.
“We need a better approach to ensure that when we repair our roads, we are building them to a higher standard so they are more resilient to future natural disasters as well as increased traffic volumes and weights.”
“Regional communities deserve roads built for the century in front of us, not the one we’ve left behind,” Ms Germano said.