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Forrest: roads programme must continue.



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Monday, 15 October 2001

FORREST : ROADS PROGRAMME MUST CONTINUE

John Forrest, Member for Mallee today highlighted the importance of roads to rural communities and made a commitment to work towards furthering the Roads to Recovery Programme.

Mr Forrest said, "To city people roads are unexciting and everyday but they are so important to us, as rural life is constantly involved with travel and distance, either for business or recreation as well as to access services such as education and health.

"It is imperative that the burden of fixing our local roads is addressed.

"Upon my re-election I will be urging for the continuation of Roads to Recovery funding to help Local Government catch up on its local roads network.

"The Roads to Recovery Programme was the first time a Federal Government has massively had input to local government roads spending and I want to be returned to the Parliament to get a further commitment and more funds for local roads.

"Roads to Recovery saw an injection of $25 million into the Mallee electorate which is an incredibly large sum. The roads network in my electorate is huge and it is important that that message be taken to Canberra.

"I have travelled a lot of miles on those roads and will travel many more. I can truly appreciate the importance of the programme and the absolute need to ensure its continuation", Mr Forrest said.

The Mallee electorate, ranging from Edenhope to Mildura, and from Charlton to the South Australian border, contains a massive road network needing a lot of looking after.

Mr Forrest said, "Of the Roads to Recovery Programme Peter Overington CEO Buloke Shire Council said in a letter to me, "In my years in local government I have not seen a program more wisely targeted and more effectively delivered in a timely manner".

Mr Forrest said, "Roads to Recovery has been a great success for country roads and helped local governments in overcoming the burden and the battle of fixing the roads.

"The Howard/Anderson Government has recognised local roads as an issue and I am confident this will continue.

Mr Forrest said," As a practising Civil Engineer for 25 years, I am very proud to have helped to get $25 million and am committed to continuing this wonderful programme".