SOUTH-WEST mayors have applauded efforts by the freight transport sector to advocate for extra arterial road funding in the region.
Nanjing Night Net

The launch of campaign group Roads to Ruin this week has followed on from a push by local government to see more state government cash injected into the region’s roads.

Councillors from Warrnambool City, Moyne, Corangamite, Colac-Otway, Southern Grampians and Glenelg shires have all previously expressed their concerns over the state of the south-west’s main roads.

Local government chiefs reiterated their calls to Transport Minister Terry Mulder yesterday for extra cash to be spent on major freight routes such as the Hopkins Highway and the Woolsthorpe-Heywood Road.

Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas endorsed the campaign and said councillors had been pushing for more road funding for several years.

He said public advocacy was the only way to make the state government pay attention to the region’s crumbling roads network.

“The more that south-west residents take a stand on the state of our roads, the more the state government will have to listen and act on what we’ve been calling on for a long time,” Cr Doukas said.

“Local government can’t prop up the roads network and we need to make it clear to those in Melbourne that this problem isn’t going to go away.”

Corangamite Shire mayor Matt Makin said the freight transport sector was a key part of the region’s economy and believed their concerns were valid.

He said much of the deterioration had occurred under the Bracks/Brumby government’s watch and claimed it was unrealistic to expect the Baillieu government to fix the issue overnight. “I think any objective view of the south-west’s roads network would show that it’s in need of investment,” Cr Makin said.

“You only have to look at the renewable energy sector, mineral sands development in the west, tourism along the coast and so on to see that the number of vehicles, number of heavy vehicles, has increased in recent years and that has a flow on effect to the region’s roads.”

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