Roads program welcomed

FUNDED. The replacement of bridges on Old Kerang Road benefited from the Country Roads and Bridges Program.

FUNDED. The replacement of bridges on Old Kerang Road benefited from the Country Roads and Bridges Program.

THE replacement of a bridge spanning the Loddon River at Appin South and the upgrade of roads leading to the Wandella Recreation Reserve would benefit from the State Opposition's plans to reinstate a roads funding initiative.

Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy and Leader of the Nationals, Peter Walsh announced on Wednesday if the Liberal-Nationals Coalition was elected to power in November's State Election, it would reinstate the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.

First implemented by the Baillieu-Napthine Government earlier this decade, the scheme provided 40 rural municipalities $1 million annually to upgrade roads and bridges.

A number of projects within the Gannawarra Shire benefited from the program before its axing in 2014, including the sealing of Benjeroop-Tresco Road and the replacement of bridges over the Loddon River on Old Kerang Road.

"Having a council with 57 bridges across the network, which are all high-cost items, the flexibility within the program enabled us to deliver the upgrade of a number of those bridges," council's director of infrastructure and development, Geoff Rollinson said.

"There are still a number of bridges across our network which require immediate work, and programs such as the Country Roads and Bridges Program enables us to enables these types of works to be carried out."

If reinstated, the program will retain the same structure as the previous scheme, with works at Appin South and Wandella - which were under consideration for upgrades prior to the program's cancellation - to benefit

"Restoring this program will be a shot in the arm for Gannawarra Shire and make our communities, like Kerang, Cohuna and Quambatook, more liveable and support jobs in our region," Mr Walsh said.

If you fix country roads, you save country lives – and that's exactly what this program will do."

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