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Labor bails on vital bridges program for regional Victoria

Joint media release

Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria

The Albanese Government’s scrapping of the Bridges Renewal Program will have devastating consequences for regional Victoria.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said Labor’s abandonment of the vital program was a blow for the economic growth and prosperity of rural and regional communities across the state.

“Safe bridges are pivotal to keeping regional and rural communities moving and supporting local industries,” Senator Henderson said.

“The government’s disregard for these critical programs jeopardises not only road safety but the economic vitality of our regions.”

Local government areas to have previously benefited from the renewal funding include Ballarat and Bendigo, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Wangaratta, Towong, Murrindindi and Surf Coast.

Labor has ignored the pivotal role that safe and high-functioning bridges and roads play, not only in bolstering regional industries and facilitating the seamless transportation of goods to ports and beyond,” Senator Henderson said.

The latest cuts follow the scrapping of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program which will also put the safety of truck drivers and other road users at risk.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Bridget McKenzie said it was incredibly disappointing to see the Albanese Government recklessly abandoning rural and regional road safety programs with no care for the consequences.

“By canning the Bridges Renewal Program, Labor is putting the safety of our truck drivers and everyday road users at risk by forcing them to take longer routes and use decaying roads and bridges,” Senator McKenzie said.

“It’s time for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Catherine King to hit the road and see the sheer number of creeks, streams, rivers, and channels throughout our beautiful country which require bridge crossings that are safe and sturdy.”

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