Call for political parties to improve assets for the future
Ahead of the upcoming November state election, local government is urging all political parties to commit to improving Victoria’s assets to help grow our economy and strengthen community safety.
Cr Mary Lalios, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said a safe and reliable road network was essential for everyday commutes, as well as to move freight across the state.
“Councils provide 85 per cent of Victoria’s road network, yet we are witnessing a decline in capital works budgets for rural and regional councils.
“We’re starting to see examples of infrastructure projects being cancelled or deferred due to councils’ reduced capacity to raise revenue.
“This will significantly impact on road safety and Victoria’s economy. With small populations and budgets, rural councils in particular require state investment to help maintain and upgrade local roads and bridges.
“It is vital that local and state government work closely to provide a smooth transition to new technology on our road network in a way that maximises safety, including for pedestrians and cyclists.
“We particularly want to see a coordinated plan and infrastructure investment to safely manage the introduction of automated vehicles in Victoria.
“First and last mile routes to and from markets are also critical to ensure the agriculture sector can transport products quickly and efficiently.
“While efficient freight movement is essential to grow our economy, larger freight vehicles more frequently cause damage to local roads. We call on political parties to support the development of regional freight plans currently underway to identify priority works for local roads.
“Prioritising funding for the road network is in addition to comprehensive actions we want political parties to support, so that Victoria’s public and active transport systems better meet the needs of all communities.”
Cr Lalios said ageing stormwater assets and management of stormwater must also be prioritised by the next state government to protect communities from urban flooding, and improve river and bay health.
“With a drying climate and more severe storm events, a $30 million statewide urban stormwater improvement program is essential. This would allow councils to upgrade stormwater assets and expand water-sensitive urban design to minimise pollution, improve amenity and reduce water treatment costs.
“We’ve identified solutions to work in partnership with the state government to improve our roads, bridges and water assets to help keep Victorians safe while also growing our economy,” she said.
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Contact Cr Mary Lalios on 0447 189 409 or MAV Communications on 9667 5521.