New laws will lock in how revenue raised by Victorian speed cameras is used to maintain the state's roads, thanks to new legislation from the Labor Government.
All money raised from speeding fines handed out by mobile and fixed cameras, along with on-the-spot police monitoring, is currently put into a 'Better Roads Victoria Fund' reserved for road upgrades.
The Andrews Government hasn't changed that – instead, it wants to make it law. At the moment, where speed camera revenue is spent comes down to the government's discretion, opening the door for future governments to take it away from road maintenance.
In the 2016-17 financial year, fines from 'road safety cameras' totalled $323.3 million. Figures for the 2017-18 period haven't been released.
"We’ve locked roads funding into legislation, delivering on our promise to build better roads for outer suburban and regional communities – protecting our roads from future Liberal-National cuts," Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads and Road Safety, said in a statement.
“When the Liberals were last in power they slashed funding for country roads – and they’ll do it again if they get the chance. This will stop that from happening," he continued.
“In 2014 we said we’d spend $2 billion over eight years to fix roads in the outer suburbs and in country Victoria – we’ve already delivered and far exceeded that commitment."
Under the rules, introduced as a bill to Victorian Parliament last week, 33 per cent of the fund will be used on country roads, 33 per cent will be held for outer-urban roads, and the remainder will be dedicated to miscellaneous road improvements at the discretion of VicRoads.
David Hodgett, Shadow Minister for Roads and Road Safety, refuted Minister Donnellan's claims about the Liberal party, and (predictably) turned the heat to the current Premier.
"Daniel Andrews cut the country roads and bridges program which helped local councils maintain their local roads," he said in a statement. "When the government did fund ‘country’ roads he spent it on upgrades in his own electorate claiming regional motorists used it to get into the city."