Roads | May 10, 2021
Don’t lower speed limits, fix rural roads
The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to use next week’s State Budget to commit to a significant spend to get rural and regional roads up to scratch.
The call follows the RACV’s public support for lowering speed limits on regional back roads, an idea that Ms Kealy said would only let the Andrews Government off the hook for its chronic underinvestment in country roads.
“The RACV was advocating for speed limits to be lowered because it might encourage drivers to use better standard highways,” Ms Kealy said.
“Unfortunately, highways in rural areas often aren’t up to scratch either, and more often than not the ‘backroads’ are the only way for people to get to where they need to be.
“Comments that it would take too long and be too expensive to make country roads safe is typical of the citycentric thinking that is leaving rural and regional Victorians behind.
“Simply slowing down country drivers and not spending money to fix roads and improve safety is lazy policy and treats country people with contempt.”
Ms Kealy said the Andrews Labor Government had spent more covering costs blowouts on city infrastructure projects than it had spent in regional Victoria.
“Labor has been in government for 17 of the last 21 years and has failed to maintain our regional road network,” she said.
“Regional Victorians deserve their fair share. As more people leave Melbourne after continued lockdowns, our road network is only going to decline further, hampering the liveability of our country centres.
“Country people deserve to have roads the same standard as their city cousins – they deserve to be able to go about their daily businesses safely and without being slowed down because of government incompetence.
“The best way to make our roads safer is to invest in fixing them – not just installing wire rope barriers and lowering speed limits but actually rebuilding road surfaces and clearing vegetation from roadsides.”
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