SOUTH-WEST roads have been neglected and will continue to be if Wannon remains a safe seat, a growing chorus of residents claim.
Former Warrnambool mayor David Atkinson said 20 years ago the Princes Highway was referred to as a goat track, a claim which he says remains true today.
"I don't think it's improved much since then," Mr Atkinson said. "It's a disgrace that it's been neglected the way it has."
Mr Atkinson said the Princes Highway and other south-west roads had not been built to withstand the amount of traffic using them in 2019.
"If we don't improve those roads we are going to be creating dangerous situations for many people that use them," he said.
"I don't care what government is in - they're both the same and it's at the detriment of anybody that drives in the south-west."
Jack Daffy, who is also a former Warrnambool mayor, echoed Mr Atkinson's concerns.
He said he believed regional roads were being neglected.
"I'm afraid money is being spent in cities and doubtful seats," Mr Daffy said.
"There is money being spent on many things I think we could do without in the interest of safety."
Former Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas, who remains a councillor, said VicRoads did not have enough funding to maintain its roads.
"Over all my years at the shire I think the (VicRoads) maintenance has slipped and it has gotten to a stage where the roads have fallen past the repairs stage and now they need to be reconstructed," Cr Doukas said.
He too said he believed there was a lot of money being spent on roads that was not being utilised in regional areas.
"We're left here with nothing," Cr Doukas said.
Corangamite Shire mayor Neil Trotter said a lack of state funding for regional roads over a number of years meant there was a huge backlog of roads which needed major upgrades.
"VicRoads haven't been rebuilding roads, they've been doing some work on them trying to maintain them, but not major reconstruction," Cr Trotter said.
He said roads generally had a lifespan of about 20 years. "Over a period of time it gets worse and worse until it gets to a critical stage and then the roads require a lot of money to fix them," Cr Trotter said.
On Thursday, Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said keeping people safe on south-west roads would continue to be of paramount importance to a re-elected Coalition government.
He said it would continue to invest record funding to support new and upgraded major highways.
Stawell's Thomas Parkes, who has started a Facebook page Wannon Votes, believes the south-west road's will continue to be neglected while the electorate is a safe seat.
"If you want roads fixed and investment in health, education and industry, you're going to have to vote for someone else to make the seat marginal," Mr Parkes said.
He said this was evident in the lack of funding commitments for Wannon ahead of the federal election.
"We can forget Scott Morrison or Bill Shorten visiting here - until Wannon is a marginal seat I don't think we'll be seeing those two candidates in our electorate (in the lead up to an election)," Mr Parkes said.
He said Wannon constituents needed to carefully consider their vote in the upcoming election.
"We should be voting on policy outcomes for the Wannon electorate," Mr Parkes said.
"Dan Tehan just gets to hand out little community grants here and there and even though they add up these are tiny grants compared to what the marginal seats are getting because they want to hang onto those seats."
Mr Parkes said he believed the government was deliberately allowing roads to deteriorate for the sake of appearances.
"Politicians are deliberately manipulating the system," he said.
"It's not as sexy resealing a section of road - it's better if you can rip up a road and cut a ribbon, but prevention is the best form of work on roads."
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