RACV unhappy with Federal Budget

RACV believes Victoria has been overlooked in the Federal Budget, saying more needs to be done to address congestion

May 11, 2012

Victorian motoring group RACV believes the state has been overlooked in the Federal Budget, saying more needs to be done to address congestion and safety issues on Victorian roads.

RACV General Manager of Public Policy Brian Negus is pleased that current projects including the Western Ring Road, Regional Rail Link, Geelong Bypass, Nagambie Bypass, Princes Highway East and West duplications and the Western Highway duplication have not been cut back, but says congestion is still a major problem for residents.

He says the government’s announcements have already been committed to in previous budgets. Road congestion is costing Victoria $3 billion a year and is predicted to double by 2020.

RACV research reveals that 88 percent of Victorians believe congestion is worse now that five years ago, with 90 percent saying it will exacerbate in five years’ time.

"It’s time governments looked beyond the 'drip feed' of annual budgets and developed long-term investment strategies to deliver transport improvements over the next decade and beyond to secure the nation’s economic viability and the community’s social wellbeing," Negus says.

"The Federal Government rakes in 39 cents a litre in fuel tax and only returns about a third of this to fund transport improvements which barely touches the surface of what Victorians need.

"There has also been no commitment to additional funds to advance the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel following the State Government’s $49.7 million commitment in the State Budget.

"This is a real blow to Victorians and we are bitterly disappointed at the Federal Government’s failure to inject funds to get this critical project going, particularly after the State Government committed $15 million towards planning for the East-West link in last week’s State Budget.

"The Federal Government should have at least matched this commitment," he adds.

"The East-West link is a major project that will alleviate the massive congestion at the end of the Eastern Freeway on both east-west and north-west roads in the area north of the city."

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