GLENELG Shire Council is joining other south-west region councils in a fight for a better roads funding deal.
The Great South Coast Group will in the coming weeks send delegations to Melbourne and Canberra in a bid to lobby key government figures.
The group, which includes representatives from the Glenelg, Southern Grampians, Corangamite, Moyne, Colac Otway and Warrnambool Shires, is seeking urgent talks with the Premier, Denis Napthine, and Roads Minister, Terry Mulder, ahead of the May State Budget.
A delegation of mayors, councillors and CEOs is then expected to travel to Canberra in May to lobby the Federal Government.
It follows the group’s endorsement of an advocacy plan outlining its priority projects for 2014 and beyond, with roads funding topping the list.
News of the delegations comes after Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, last week expressed fears more than $9.6 million worth of roads project in the south-west were at risk of being blocked in the Senate.
Legislation to extend Roads to Recovery program funding for the next five years passed the House of Representatives this week, but was opposed by Labor and the Greens.
Included is $1,619,814 earmarked for the Glenelg Shire and $1,025,889 for the Southern Grampians Shire.
The legislation would be defeated if Labor and the Greens again combined to vote against it in the Senate.
Glenelg Shire Mayor, John Northcott, said his council was committed to bringing the region’s roads up to scratch with the rest of Victoria.
“The latest VicRoads condition data shows the Great South Coast has the worst arterial roads in the state and $220 million is needed to bring the region’s roads in line with the rest of Victoria,” Cr Northcott said.
“The Great South Coast Group will continue to meet with and press the State Government before the election and a delegation of mayors will look to meet with the Premier and Minister for Roads in the coming weeks, at which Cr Geoff White will be representing Glenelg Shire.
Full story in The Casterton News on Wednesday, April 2, 2014