A UNITED call for better roads has been the main message delivered by south-west mayors ahead of next week’s state budget.
South-west cancer services, the proposed Horne Road industrial estate have also been included in the collective mayoral wish list.
Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas told councillors this week he had met with Transport Minister Terry Mulder who was receptive to south-west road funding calls.
However, Cr Doukas said Mr Mulder also stressed that this year’s budget would be tight and that road projects would be prioritised.
“Most people in this region want to see more funding for our road network,” the Moyne mayor said.
“It’s pretty clear that some of our main roads are in a very ordinary state and are only going to get worse with all the development happening around the region.
“We’re hoping that the state government gets the message on roads because its an issue all mayors agree on and see as important.”
Corangamite Shire mayor Matt Makin said most south-west residents wanted to see more cash invested in main roads.
He identified Foxhow and Cobden-Warrnambool roads as potential targets, although he stressed that funding should be spread across the board.
“The clear priority as I see it in the community is roads, roads, roads,” Cr Makin said.
“More investment is needed to cover 10 years of neglect in the south-west’s VicRoads network.
“We need to see greater expenditure on our road network right across the board.”
Warrnambool mayor Jacinta Ermacora said parents with young children would appreciate state government backing to construct a kindergarten in the city’s western neighbourhoods.
Cr Ermacora told The Standard that a south-west cancer centre, as advocated by campaign group Peter’s Project, would also be welcomed by the wider community.
“Our city needs a cancer centre (so) I hope that Vicky Jellie and her team at Peter’s Project receive good news at this year’s state budget.
“Stage two of the South West Healthcare redevelopment includes the Peter’s Project cancer centre which will involve provision of radiotherapy services for our local cancer sufferers within their own community.”
Cr Ermacora called on Planning Minister Matthew Guy to sign off on the Horne Road industrial estate amendment as well as funding from the Treasurer to seal the thoroughfare. She said the city had asked the state government to provide $3 million, with a further $3 million from Regional Development Victoria and a final $3 million covered by council and developers.
Southern Grampians mayor Bob Penny said extra road funding was needed in the shire area to cope with increased use by heavy vehicles.
He said portions of the Henty Highway between Hamilton and Branxholme, the Glenelg Highway near Coleraine and Chatsworth Road all needed state attention.
“It’s no secret that we’d like to see more funding for roads,” Cr Penny said.
“Money is needed for the VicRoads-administrated links through the region as well as the money directed to local government for country roads and lanes.”