VicRoads has listened to our communities and businesses who have told us loud and clear that the roads are not up to scratch to support the Gippsland region.
The big takeaways from VicRoads’ community discussions in Gippsland last year was that our roads need to keep up with increased tourism and freight movements, and that safety is a critical concern for drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists.
VicRoads has also been going through the 300+ submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Country Roads, and listening to the frank and important feedback.
Our country roads need an overhaul and that’s what they’re now getting, with $333 million in the State Budget to rebuild and repair regional roads and a new dedicated team to deliver it.
A key regional road improvement in Gippsland is a $9.5 million intersection upgrade at Phillip Island and Back Beach Roads on Phillip Island. Bass Valley Primary School in Corinella has also been one of the first schools to benefit from the $4.3 million school safety infrastructure funding with new electronic school speed signs installed to reflect the newly introduced school speed zone speed limit reduction.
The need to work much more closely with local government has also been heard, with a $100 million fund to rebuild and resurface local roads that have been identified as a priority.
It’s not only about more money though.
The new authority for regional roads – Regional Roads Victoria – will help address decades of under investment and inattention, overseeing $333 million of road maintenance this year with a record $60.4 million being spent on maintenance and repairs in the Gippsland region.
Championing the needs of country Victoria will give rural and regional Victorians a direct line of communication to VicRoads, and a clear focus on making the road network safe and fit for our communities, business users and visitors.
Instead of looking at just fixing up our roads or bridges in isolation, we want to better understand the regional priorities and contribute to economic prosperity and growth of the region through unlocking jobs and generating investment.
People in Gippsland deserve roads they can rely on, and this investment will make sure the roads are safer and more reliable than ever before.
Scott Lawrence, VicRoads Regional Director (Eastern).