Angry North East residents fed up with damage to their vehicles caused by potholes - and fearing a spate of fatal accidents if they aren't quickly fixed - have scoffed at a $2.8 billion government commitment to road maintenance.
They said the promise to fix pothole-riddled Victorian roads failed to address the "problems on the ground".
Motorists, Benambra MP Bill Tilley, Ovens Valley MP Tim McCurdy, and federal member for Indi Helen Haines have all expressed their disgust at the state of the roads in the North East.
Tallangatta resident Amy Burkitt said there were dozens of residents who drove on the Murray Valley Highway every day and a pledge of $2.8 billion over a decade meant nothing if roads remained in their current state.
"Last year we had quite a rough patch on the bypass between Tallangatta and Wodonga and for about nine months people were saying, watch out for these spots and we all wrote letters to VicRoads saying well you need to pay for this - so what did VicRoads do? They went and put 40 kilometre signs up and a sign that warns 'rough surface'.
"But the road is still a mess - the potholes are still there, they're not fixed, but now you are limited to 40 kilometres - what's the point?"
A Victorian Government spokesman told The Border Mail there was a "strong committment to maintaining regional roads" with $2.8 billion earmarked for maintenance and renewal works over 10 years.
"At least $6.6 billion will be invested in maintaining Victoria's road assets over the next decade, ensuring that regional drivers have access to smoother, more reliable connections across the state," the spokesman said.
When asked about why graffiti complaining about the state of roads on bitumen near Bundalong was removed before the actual pothole it was sprayed near and pointing to was repaired, the spokesman said the damage was fixed within six weeks.
"Regional Roads Victoria assessed the pothole on Wangaratta-Yarrawonga Road near Bundalong on May 18, 2023," the spokesman said.
"Short-term repairs were made to make the pothole safe on the same day.
"Large-scale, long term repairs to the pothole were completed on the June 29, 2023."
The spokesman said the government had focused on several road repairs across regional areas.
"Thanks to funding for road maintenance and renewal works by the Victorian Government, our crews have repaired a large number of potholes across northern Victoria in recent months, along with significant road patching and resurfacing works in the region," the spokesman said.
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"We're also planning for further repairs across the region in the coming weeks, ensuring that our roads are smoother and more reliable.
"Our crews will continue to regularly monitor and assess reported hazards, along with all roads across the state, in line with our responsibilities under the Road Management Act."
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