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Funding in roads works, says MP

Northern Victoria MP Jaclyn Symes
Nanjing Night Net

An upper houseMP’s radical idea to splice VicRoads into separate organisations for city and country areas has been dismissed by Jaclyn Symes as a “burden”.

Western Victoria MP James Purcell rose in State Parliament last week to call on the government to invest more money to fix the “terrible state” of roads in his electorate.

“VicRoads have, in my mind, failed country Victoriaand you can see that that becomes more of an issue the further you get away from Melbourne,” he said.

“The roads are unsafeand therefore tonight I urge the minister to give country Victoria a chance by splitting VicRoads into two distinct operations,being city roads and country roads.”

But Labor’s Northern Victoria MP MsSymes has defended her party’s investment in country roadimprovements.

“While governments of all persuasions are constantly looking at getting the most of their government departments and reducing costs, splitting an organisation and duplicating the roles and responsibilities would be a significant cost burden on Northern Victoria taxpayers,” she told The Border Mail.

“I am working closely withVicRoads, local councils and government ministers to ensure that appropriate funding is secured.

“The AndrewsLabor government ismakingregionalroadssaferand more efficientandthat’s why we’re investing $51.6 million for new overtaking lanesonkey arterial roadsin regionalVictoria and $340mto address known crashblackspotson more than 2500 kilometres of regionalroads.”

Western Victoria MP James Purcell

The state of country roads has become an issue in recent weeks after heavy rainfall and flooding damagedroad surfaces.

VicRoadswas set to startrepairs when the weather cleared up.

Ms Symes said the government had promised to invest$130mto replace road surfaces and pavements on criticalroutes, with 85 per cent to be spent on arterialroadsand freight routes in regional Victoria.

MrPurcell told Fairfax Media last weekhis ideawas borne out of frustration at decades of inaction over the poor state of South West roads.

“By repeating what you do, you don’t improve, so you need to change,” he said.

“It’s time we had a serious look at the way it actually operates …it isn’t necessarily about more money, it’s better value for money and to be spent on roads that it needs to be spent on.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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