LETTER: Roads need repairing beyond ‘worst-first’

OUR state’s road toll is staggering and heartbreaking – 90 deaths in just 100 days this year.

This is a 55 per cent increase from the same time last year.

Shockingly, 59 of these deaths have been on rural roads – that’s a 90 per cent increase in rural road fatalities from last year.

There’s a crisis on our roads that can’t be ignored. 

These statistics tell a tragic tale. They also paint a picture of negligence, underinvestment and mismanagement. The State Government has a case to answer.

The Labor Government invested $1 billion in its Toward Zero Policy, announced in 2016. The investment aimed to reduce to the road toll to 200 deaths or fewer each year by 2020. 

An Auditor-General’s Report examining our state-controlled roads reveals that funding is “insufficient”. It has not been indexed, and has in fact been decreasing since 2010-11.

This includes a reduction in road maintenance funding of about 60 per cent (despite a nearly 10 per cent increase in road traffic).

Funding is not just inadequate – it’s poorly utilised.

The government employs a disastrous policy of “worst-first”.

Instead of spending 30c per kilometre on routine maintenance, it spends $70-$175 per square metre on road rehabilitation.

You can’t reduce the road toll without being willing to invest in safe and properly maintained roads.

Roma Britnell,

Victorian Opposition spokeswoman for Rural Roads

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