State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has said Labor’s new ‘‘bold plan’’ — a website — will do nothing to fix roads around Benalla.
However, State member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes points to a variety of road funding initiatives that Labor has implemented since taking office.
Ms Ryan has asserted that rather than reinstate the roads funding he has cut, Premier Daniel Andrews has spent money on creating a website to identify the broken road surfaces and potholes his funding cuts have created.
‘‘Daniel Andrews’ ‘bold’ plan doesn’t include one extra cent to fix country roads and I’m yet to see a website that will fix a pothole,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘I am regularly contacted by constituents who are concerned about the condition of our road network and I have been reporting those problems to VicRoads for months and months.’’
However, Ms Symes said that since coming to office Labor has doubled its investment in road maintenance, because ‘‘We know how important roads are to people in the North East’’.
‘‘This significant overhaul to the way VicRoads does business is about making sure that our community gets the road works, upgrades and investment we need,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘Victorians have told VicRoads they want greater transparency about road conditions and the work VicRoads is doing, from roadside drainage to fixing pot-holes and providing safer overtaking opportunities.
‘‘The feedback from 11000 Victorians, 700 stakeholders and 30 councils is now shaping the most significant period of planning, construction, maintenance and uplift of the 19000km regional road network since World War II.’’
But Ms Ryan said people living outside of Melbourne were sick of dodging potholes and they were sick of excuses from the state government.
‘‘People don’t want or need a webpage to tell them how many potholes they have to avoid on country roads — they just want the roads fixed,’’ Ms Ryan said.
She also said Mr Andrews scrapped The Nationals’ Country Roads and Bridges Program as well as hundreds of millions of dollars from the VicRoads’ road asset management budget.
‘‘The result has been a gradual and worsening deterioration of our roads networks,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘If Daniel Andrews is serious about road safety across the whole of Victoria then Labor must invest money into works, not websites.
‘‘Benalla residents are not that easily conned and it’s time the government actually got on with the job of properly repairing our roads.’’