Victoria is set to be plunged into further debt by Federal Labor cutting its investment in roads.
We all know the disaster the Allan/Andrews Labor Government has left the state coffers in, but Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King is intent on making matters worse by changing how the Commonwealth funds regional road projects.
Instead of the usual 80-20 split, Minister King wants the states to go 50-50.
This would kill off Victoria's ability to fund many projects and only exacerbate Victorian Labor's lack of interest in projects beyond Bendigo, Ballarat, and Geelong.
Significant projects such as completing the duplication of the Western Highway between Ararat and Stawell, which the Coalition budgeted $360 million for in 2019, could likely not go ahead.
That project is subject to the Minister's 200-day-old, 90-day review due to be released this week - though not at the time of writing this column.
Is this project going to be safe from Labor's cuts?
The Minister has sat on her hands with the review and is now foreshadowing ripping money away, which will see crucial regional safety upgrades put on the backburner - putting Wimmera road users at risk.- Western Highway duplication between Ararat and Stawell
The Minister has sat on her hands with the review and is now foreshadowing ripping money away, which will see crucial regional safety upgrades put on the backburner - putting Wimmera road users at risk.
Our productivity relies on the increasing number of road trains transporting products to ports and markets along crucial freight routes.
As trucks grow in size, length, and weight, roads are increasingly deteriorating, but Labor governments ignore this at state and federal levels. Other Wimmera infrastructure projects subject to Labor's 90-day review include the Horsham Roundabout and traffic lights at the Seaby Street and Western Highway intersection in Stawell, which the Coalition had budgeted for - $4 million and $3.1 million respectively committed.
These projects and more may be consigned to the scrapheap because Minister King is more interested in playing politics with Coalition funding while protecting Labor's pet projects in their electorates.
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