Victoria Shadow Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell
Local Government Study Identifies Roads Crisis
Victor P Taffa
An independent report has confirmed Premier John Brumby is failing to provide adequate funding to help councils maintain basic road infrastructure requirements, Shadow Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell said today.
“The report into the study of local roads, commissioned by the Australian Local Government Association, found that an additional $1.2 Billion was needed every year just to maintain the current standard of the local road network.” Mrs. Powell said.
The report found that although councils had increased rates in an effort to meet funding shortfalls, there was still not enough funding available to cater for roads maintenance.
The report says the magnitude of funding local roads was beyond the capacity of ‘cash-strapped and resource constrained councils’ and that a ‘dramatic’ increase in funding was needed.
“Any local council in rural or regional Victoria will tell you not enough funding is being provided for local road infrastructure.” Mrs. Powell said.
“I have met with over 30 rural and regional councils and they have told me they are experiencing increased traffic flows and larger transport loads which impacts heavily on the state of their roads.”
“Constant cost shifting by John Brumby has also meant many rural councils with large geographic areas and small populations are struggling to maintain their roads and bridges.”
“This has led to substantial rate increases across the state and forced many councils to double their rates over the past 11 years under Labor.”
“The roads report has made it very clear that more needs to be done by the State and Federal Labor Governments to support local councils to maintain basic local road and bridge infrastructure and to provide the services required by the community.” Mrs. Powell said.