Now that the weirs are going in and the river is opening up, the tourists will start flooding back. That’s the kind of flood we like. There’s a lot of businesses who have been closed for a long time, post Covid because of all of the water, and they need the tourists to come back. But a lot of those tourists will be driving to Sunraysia on roads that are downright dangerous.
It’s not a great welcome is it.
We’ve heard time and time again from the Andrews government that the roads have deteriorated because of the rains and flood water.
The fact is, the roads were bad before the rain and the current government has just not been doing enough to keep them in good order.
Labor cut the road maintenance budget by 10 per cent when it came to government and our roads have never recovered, in fact, they just continue to just get worse.
In 2017 the Auditor General warned of the poor state of Victorian roads and the lack of accountability for funding – but Labor has cut a further $215 million over the past two budgets.
In 2021 the Labor Government backed a recommendation to reduce speed limits on low quality roads, rather than actually fixing them. We know how well that works in rural areas, especially during the busy harvest time. The flow on effect in terms of lost productivity and time just keeps adding cost to our food producers, and ultimately to the cost you pay to feed your family.
It’s fine for the government to insist that our cars are all roadworthy, so shouldn’t we hold the government to account and make sure that our roads are car-worthy?
There’s no doubt the heavy rain and floods did significant damage to our roads, but what has the government proposed in response? A measly $165 million.
Meanwhile, Daniel Andrews mega-transport projects are $30 billion over budget, and we’re forced to share sub-standard roads with huge trucks because we haven’t got an efficient rail network to get food to market.
By contrast, the NSW Government recently announced a $500 million package for road repairs, just for councils. So far the Victorian Government hasn’t offered a cracker for local councils to fix the roads that take us to and from home, to school and to work and the shops.
They’ve also refused to bring back the Country Roads and Bridges program that it axed in 2015.
The Government will begin work on this years budget. It would do them well to remember who’s producing their food and invest in networks to make sure the food we produce in Sunraysia can get to the plates of their own families. They can’t eat without us.