More roads funding needed


SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council has welcomed any future offer of additional government funding to fix country roads.

Recent rainfall has damaged some local roads, with potholes emerging and road surfaces crumbling.

The parliamentary Inquiry into the Sustainability and Operational Challenges of Victoria’s Rural and Regional Councils recently heard country councils are struggling to meet the high costs of maintaining their roads network.

Giving evidence to the parliamentary inquiry, Local Government Victoria confirmed rural councils have a disproportionately large amount of infrastructure to maintain compared to their city counterparts, but significantly lower income streams.

The inquiry was told rural and regional councils managed an average of 2200km of roads – more than four times that of city-based councils.

South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Ray Argento said, “Ongoing maintenance of our road network is an issue for all councils that have a small population and large number of community assets, particularly roads.

“Keeping up with rising costs whilst having to contend with rate capping makes for struggling times ahead for some smaller councils.

“To date our council is operating within its budget and infrastructure needs, although more state and federal funding is always welcomed. Meeting rising community expectations is costly.”

Victorian Nationals Leader Peter Walsh said one of Premier Daniel Andrews’ first actions as premier was to axe the Liberal-Nationals’ successful Country Roads and Bridges Program.

“The premier then blatantly spent money earmarked for country bridge upgrades on roads in his own city electorate of Mulgrave,” Mr Walsh said.

“Our rural road networks are crumbling and urgently need an immediate funding injection to improve safety.”

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22680

Posted by on Sep 26 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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