The Victorian Government will establish a new regional roads body as part of a $941 million infrastructure investment announced for the 2018-19 state budget, ahead of an election scheduled for 24 November this year.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the establishment of Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) – a new division of VicRoads to be based in Ballarat and led by a Chief Regional Roads Officer – to oversee a $333 million boost to road maintenance.
The funding commitment includes $229 million to be spent on the government’s Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan, first established in 2016, with more new overtaking lanes, rumble strips and intersection upgrades on high-risk roads.
Another $100 million will be spent building a Fixing Country Roads fund, designed to provide grants to rural and regional councils to fix their local roads.
According to Victorian minister for roads and road safety Luke Donnellan, the Labor government had doubled spending on road maintenance since coming to office in 2014.
"We’re making this record investment and establishing Regional Roads Victoria to reduce congestion, improve safety and support primary producers to get their goods to market," Donnellan says.
The Victorian Transport Association has welcomed the announcement, with CEO Peter Anderson saying the VTA had been advocating for more funding for some time.
"A safe and efficient regional transport network is essential for road freight operators and the thousands of farmers and small businesses they service throughout Victoria," he says.
"We applaud the government for considering the infrastructure needs of regional Victorians through this announcement."
Nonetheless, Anderson also reiterates the association’s calls for the establishment of a Victorian Freight Authority to advise government on the unique requirements of the transport and logistics industries when making planning decisions.
The individual projects to be funded through the commitment include:
Copyright 2017 NTI Limited
Insurance products are provided by National Transport Insurance, a joint venture of the insurers Insurance Australia Limited trading as CGU Insurance ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 and AAI Limited Trading as Vero Insurance ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 each holding a 50% share. National Transport Insurance is administered on behalf of the insurers by its manager NTI Limited ABN 84 000 746 109 AFSL 237246.