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Roads pledge welcomed

A pledge by the Victorian Liberal-National coalition to provide significant funding for rural road and bridge infrastructure should they be elected to government has been warmly welcomed by the peak body representing Victorian rural councils.

The Coalition has today undertaken that all Victorian rural shire councils will receive about $1 million per annum for four years if elected to government at November’s State election.

Rural Councils Victoria Chair Cr Rob Gersch said the program would make a huge difference to rural councils, who are continually advocating for greater funding to fix up ageing rural roads.

“This has been one of the major advocacy issues which Rural Councils Victoria has lobbied for on behalf of our rural communities,” Cr Gersch said.

“In our submission to the 2018/19 Victorian Budget we made it clear that our roads are the links that keep rural Victoria’s economy alive, but they’re falling apart.

“With small ratepayer populations, limited sources of revenue and thousands of kilometres of roads to maintain, rural councils are struggling to manage extensive road and bridge infrastructure.

“State Government support means the difference between a dangerous and poorly maintained road network and a vibrant rural economy.

“This cash investment would go a long way to maintaining the key road links that keep Victoria’s produce and visitor economy going.

“We welcome the pledge made today by the Coalition and call on the Labor Government to share our commitment to ensuring that rural councils will be able to maintain the roads all Victorians rely on,” Cr Gersch said.

Rural Councils Victoria’s submission to the 2018/19 Victorian budget can be downloaded from www.ruralcouncilsvictoria.org.au

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