Today’s rally in Manangatang shows Daniel Andrews can no longer ignore pleas from desperate communities across country Victoria who are demanding rural roads be fixed, and not just have their speed limits slashed.
In response to the Andrews Labor Government lowering the speed limit from 100km/h to 80km/h on a key freight route because of lack of maintenance, residents in the state’s north are protesting this lazy and dangerous approach to a serious problem.
Daniel Andrews’ lazy solution of blanket speed limit reductions on certain types of roads has been flagged in various forums for the past few months – but country Victorians are resisting, and rightly so.
Country people want their roads fixed; they don’t want to be slowed down. Not only does lowering speed limits increase the amount of time people are away from home it also has huge implications for productivity.
A recent report from the south-west shows that if low investment in roads is to continue, Victoria’s largest dairy region would stagnate, with $51 million in lost productivity over the next quarter-century.
That not only hurts local economies, it also affects the state’s economy, with dairy being one of the largest exports from Victoria.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Roma Britnell:
“Country people are sick of being treated like second-class citizens. They are sick of seeing projects in the city blow out by billions of dollars, but there’s not a dollar to be found for projects in the country.
Daniel Andrews needs to take notice of this protest and he needs to respond with a significant investment to bring rural and regional roads back up to standard.
Daniel Andrews and Labor can expect more of these protests in every corner of the state as rural roads continue to crumble.”