Labor is sending Mallee residents on a road to ruin by slashing future funding for the Roads Of Strategic Importance (ROSI) program.
The Federal Government in its October budget cut $248 million from forward estimates for the Victorian ROSI program – placing road users on five key Mallee highways at risk.
This risks the safety of drivers using the Calder Highway which connects Mildura to Melbourne; Sunraysia Highway from Ouyen to Ballarat; the Murray Valley Highway from Robinvale to Echuca; the Western Highway from Stawell to the South Australian border; and the Henty Highway from Horsham to Victoria’s southern ports.
“Labor has taken nearly a quarter of a billion dollars from this program, and will compromise the safety of Mallee drivers,” Dr Webster said.
“That is absolutely unacceptable – danger is written all over this decision.
“What Labor fails to understand is that these highways desperately need investment to maintain major transport routes where road trains, local families and grey-haired nomads with caravans coexist. “
Dr Webster said these road cuts affect Mallee’s primary producers.
“Farmers struggle now to get their product to port because of the Victorian Labor government’s failure to deliver the Murray Basin Rail project,” Dr Webster said.
“Farmers have no alternative but to put product on road trains on unsatisfactory highway systems. And this Labor government is slashing funding for maintenance and upgrades. It is not good enough.”
Dr Webster said with 11 out of 12 shires in Mallee experiencing flooding, many roads have further deteriorated as a result.
“The potholes have worsened and the shoulders have been eaten away by rising waters,” she said. “How long until Labor wakes up and realises that country people need roads too?”
‘Given Mallee’s contribution to Australia’s GDP of nearly $10 billion, how can Labor justify this action?’