South West MPs say VicRoads split not the answer

LOWAN MP Emma Kealy says a revamped VicRoads could better serve country Victorians but separate country and metro boards would cause more red tape and unlikely to deliver better roads.

Ms Kealy’s comments come on the back of a parliamentary motion from Western Victoria MP James Purcell to replace VicRoads with separate rural and city organisations.

She said such a move would likely lead to increased bureaucratic red tape and was unlikely to improve regional roads, but did not rule out a revamp of VicRoads in some form.

Roma Britnell

Roma Britnell

“If there was more focus on infrastructure, and there was a more efficient funding split, that might be something that’s worth looking at,” she said.

“I don’t think splitting VicRoads into country and metro organisations is the answer. 

“The rebranding and restructure costs and the increased numbers of administrative staff would likely mean less money for roads and more being spent on bureaucracy.”

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said splitting VicRoads would result in a significant cost to the tax payer in terms of staff and rebranding. 

“We should be focusing on building and repairing roads, not wasting time and money restructuring departments,” Ms Britnell said. “There is no guarantee a move like this would mean more funding for regional Victorian roads, because both organisations would still be dependent on government allocations.”

Mr Purcell told The Standard on Monday the idea to split VicRoads was borne out of frustration at decades of inaction over the poor state of south-west roads.

“It’s time we had a serious look at the way it actually operates,” he said

He said having a body specifically dedicated to country roads would allow communities to have greater influence over which roads received attention. Mr Purcell’s proposal is likely to be debated next month.

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