Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) has welcomed the state government’s $941 million budget pledge to fix the state’s ageing country roads.
RCV chair Rob Gersch said the funding, which included the $100 million Fixing Country Roads Fund, would make a huge difference to rural councils, which were continually advocating for greater funding for rural roads.
‘‘This has been one of the major advocacy issues that Rural Councils Victoria has lobbied for on behalf of our rural communities,’’ Cr Gersch said.
‘‘In our submission to the 2018/19 Victorian Budget we made it clear that our roads are the links that keep rural Victoria’s economy alive, but they’re falling apart.
‘‘With small ratepayer populations, limited sources of revenue and thousands of kilometres of roads to maintain, rural councils are struggling to manage extensive road and bridge infrastructure.
‘‘State government support means the difference between a dangerous and poorly maintained road network and a vibrant rural economy. This cash investment would go a long way to maintaining the key road links that keep Victoria’s produce and visitor economy going.
‘‘We also look forward to working with the newly announced Regional Roads Victoria staff to ensure that rural Victorian roads get the increased investment they need.’’
●Rural Councils Victoria’s submission to the 2018/19 Victorian budget can be downloaded from www.ruralcouncilsvictoria.org.au