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.
Victorian Opposition spokeswoman for Rural Roads