Public submissions open in inquiry into VicRoads’ management of country roads

HAVE YOUR SAY: Public submissions into VicRoads’ management of country roads are being sought for a parliamentary inquiry. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
HAVE YOUR SAY: Public submissions into VicRoads’ management of country roads are being sought for a parliamentary inquiry. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

People are being encouraged to have their say on the management of country roads as an inquiry into VicRoads opens for public submissions.

The inquiry, by the state Parliament's Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee, will look at VicRoads’ management of country roads and also consider splitting the organisation into a country and metropolitan roads body.

The inquiry was launched in November 2016 and was due to report by November this year, but was delayed while the committee worked on two other inquiries.

Instead, the reporting date has been extended to mid-next year.

Committee chair Geoff Howard said it was an important inquiry for communities across Victoria who relied on well-maintained country roads in the conduct of their daily lives.

“The committee will be considering how country roads should be managed into the future, to ensure that the needs of people throughout regional Victoria are being met,” he said.

“We encourage people and organisations in regional Victoria to contribute to our inquiry by making a submission to the Committee.”

The idea to dismantle VicRoads was put to parliament in 2016 by Western Victoria MP James Purcell, who said separate country and metropolitan road boards would help regional areas get a better share of roads funding. 

The four areas the inquiry will look into are: 

  • the effectiveness of VicRoads in managing country roads; 
  • the existing funding model and its lack of effectiveness for country Victoria;
  • the lack of consultation with regional communities and their subsequent lack of input into prioritising which roads are in dire need of repair; and
  • the option of dismantling VicRoads and creating a specific Country Roads organisation and separate Metropolitan Roads body.

Public submissions are open until January 15, 2018.

“Through the submissions we receive and the public hearings we hold, the committee will be collecting evidence from people across Victoria,” Mr Howard said.

“That evidence will help the committee to make recommendations that address issues of concern to the community.”

To make a submission, or for more details, visit www.parliament.vic.gov.au/lrrcsc/article/3221