Staley calls on Premier to compensate rural councils after cutting roads and bridges funding

Ripon MP Louise Staley has called on the Andrews Labor Government to compensate rural councils following the savage cutting of 1 Million dollars a year to each council that was previously set aside for roads and bridges funding in country Victoria.

Each of the seven local councils in the seat of Ripon are now looking at cost saving measures to make up for the loss of funding for road and bridge maintenance.

In State Parliament recently Ms Staley challenged the Andrews Government to compensate local councils and ensure that country roads are not allowed to deteriorate further.

“Local roads must be maintained for safety. The removal of the country roads and bridges program means these councils have to find an additional $1 million per year for their roads” Ms Staley Said.

“If we are to achieve the goals of the current joint Transport Accident Commission, VicRoads and Victoria Police Towards Zero campaign, then country roads must be adequately maintained, the Andrews Government is putting country lives at risk by cutting this funding.

“Each of the seven councils has had to take different measures to manage the loss of $1 million per year in revenue. Buloke, for example, has ripped up kilometres of roads and returned the bitumen to dirt.

“Northern Grampians has cut its funding to school pedestrian crossing supervisors — lollipop people, putting our children at risk.

“Central Goldfields has cut funding to its local State Emergency Service (SES) brigades”

“I expect further cuts from the other local government areas in Ripon as they struggle to maintain their roads and bridges.

“The only just way, short of restoring the country roads and bridges program, is to fairly compensate local councils for their unavoidable costs in maintaining their roads.”