Government must invest in local roads

THIS year’s local government community satisfaction survey results reinforces that greater Victorian Government support is needed to help councils maintain and upgrade the state’s local road network.

The survey results showed a correlation between higher performance scores where the state is investing in local infrastructure, and a decline in council performance where state investment has been withdrawn.

Metropolitan councils scored higher overall in the survey results than rural and regional municipalities. In particular, interface councils have received higher overall performance scores from residents, buoyed by strong state investment in local community infrastructure needed in growth areas.

However, state funding for rural local roads concluded in 2015, along with a dedicated state funding program for rural and regional community infrastructure.

This loss of $360 million over four years has been a devastating blow to rural and regional communities.

Ten per cent of the Port of Melbourne lease – worth $970 million – was committed by the state for reinvestment back into rural and regional Victoria.

We renew our calls for the government to allocate funding from this commitment to rural local roads.

Mary Lalios,

Municipal Association of 

Victoria president

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