Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland. ​

Nationals candidate for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland says the party will revive country roads with a $288 million program if successful at this month’s state election.

Ms Cleeland said the Country Roads and Bridges Program would provide annual grants of up to $1.5 million to Victoria’s 48 rural shires and regional councils during the next four years to fund the restoration and renewal of deteriorating road and bridge infrastructure.

She said road maintenance was one of the largest cost burdens on local governments, especially small councils with large road networks.

Ms Cleeland said the program would mean smoother, safer roads for regional Victorians.

“This additional $1.5 million a year will provide a major boost to rural councils. Regional councils … have large road networks to maintain and need this dedicated funding to support their efforts,” she said.

“Ratepayers were left to foot the bill for this after the Labor government axed the highly successful program in 2014 with no replacement.

“This funding certainty means we’ll have road repairs that last, and councils will be able to plan for longterm maintenance of vital infrastructure.

“It also helps alleviate the capital costs faced by councils, placing downward pressure on rates.”

Ms Cleeland said reinstating the Country Roads and Bridges Program would help bring regional Victorian roads back from ruin.

“This is in addition to our $10 billion commitment over 10 years to properly fund Victoria’s road maintenance and make country roads safer,” she said.