"We Need to Spend More Money on the Roads" - #RoadRepairsNow
As Flow FM's #RoadRepairsNow campaign roars ahead, people are finding a common theme throughout regional Australia - that more money needs to be spent on our regional roads.
Federal Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, is on the last leg of his Great Country Towns Tour today, visiting towns throughout Victoria's Wimmera-Mallee region, and travelling on the local roads.
Throughout his tour, Mr Broad has encountered many of the same roads highlighted in Flow's #RoadRepairsNow campaign, desperately in need of repair.
After recently writing to VicRoads about the state of the Stawell to Warracknabeal Road (pictured), he caught up with Anita on the Country Viewpoint to discuss the roads in the Wimmera-Mallee region, and how to better maintain them.
Mr Broad confirmed he had been making note of the particularly unsafe roads in need of repair whilst on his tour, and will contact VicRoads to follow up - as he has previously done, and shared on Facebook.
Although he is the federal representative for this region, a majority of roads in the Wimmera-Mallee come under State or Council jurisdiction.
Mr Broad explained: "A council road is [the responsibility of] the local councils, and there's 9 local councils in the electorate of the Mallee.
"The Federal Government does give them money under what is called the 'Roads to Recovery' program.
"The roads the Federal Government funds directly are your roads that link states such as the Western Highway, the Sturt, and some of the Calder Highway.
"Then of course the bulk of your roads, the B and C class roads are the responsibility of the State Government," he said.
Mr Broad confirmed he has not yet received any updates from VicRoads about the Stawell to Warracknabeal Road south of Rupanyup, nor has Flow FM.
However, according to the Federal member, some patch up work has been done along this road, but it was well overdue, with "some patches of the road back to dirt...it's absolutely appauling," Mr Broad said.
In terms of maintenance and funding, Mr Broad was frank when saying "We do just need to spend more money on our roads."
He also stated the way road funding is distributed needs to be changed.
"Governments tend to spend money on roads that rely on traffic load. Now the roads in North-West Victoria aren't high traffic loads, but they are essential economic freight links.
"So we're putting trucks on those roads, those roads are carrying products to the port, the State Government expects the royalties of the port.
"There's very much a case I believe, for roads of economic significance to be funded - where there isn't much population, but they actually are critical to our economic fabric as a society, and they're the roads of the Wimmera and the Mallee," he said.
When asked about where proposed funding for road maintenance and repairs should come from, Mr Broad said "it's the State Government's responsibility."
"They collect a lot of GST, every litre of fuel has 10% GST on it, and they're just not spending the dollars in the country towns that they were," he said.
Flow FM will continue to campaign for our local roads - send us your photos and the location of your worst regional roads using the hashtag #RoadRepairsNow, so we can send them to your local Shire/Council and get our roads repaired!