Country Victorians will have unprecedented access to information about the condition of country roads, works and updates, according to Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan.
Mr Donnellan joined VicRoads chief executive John Merritt last week to announce a plan of action based on the feedback from 11000 Victorians, 700 stakeholders and 30 councils.
Victorians can now log on to a digital dashboard on the VicRoads website to track progress on road upgrades, pot-hole repairs and other maintenance efforts.
A new international star rating tool will be rolled out, starting with the 20 most dangerous country roads, that will help inform future safety investments and encourage people to drive to local road conditions.
Mr Merrit said Victorians have told VicRoads they want greater transparency about road conditions and the work VicRoads is doing, from roadside drainage to fixing pot-holes and providing safer overtaking opportunities.
‘‘People have told us loud and clear: fix the roads that need fixing because they are our lifelines — and that is exactly what we’ll do,’’ he said.
The Country Roads, Your insights, Our Actions report also responds to the changing face of farming in Victoria, with a new harvest scheme and red tape removal giving oversized agricultural equipment greater access to the roads.
Mr Donnellan said more than 850kms of deteriorating roads in regional Victoria are being rebuilt, following a $260million maintenance boost from the Victorian Government.
‘‘We’ve doubled spending on road maintenance since coming to office and this massive overhaul of the way VicRoads does business will make sure country communities get the road work they need,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re investing more than ever before to modernise the state’s road network, keep people informed and keep people safe.’’
However, Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said country Victorians don’t need a website to show them regional and rural roads have been neglected.
‘‘Despite the potholes and dangerously uneven surfaces littering our country road network, the Andrews Labor Government refuses to reverse its decision to axe the Liberal Nationals’ successful $160million Country Roads and Bridges Program,’’ he said.
‘‘The only ‘bold’ part of Labor’s plan is its absolute determination to ignore the needs of country Victorians.’’