THE dangerous bends between Koonwarra and Meeniyan are set to remain for at least a few more years.
Despite the project being identified as a high priority locally, no funding has yet been set aside for the project.
VicRoads Eastern Region Regional Director Scott Lawrence said a ‘Strategic Assessment’ has been done, but the next vital step, which is a business case, is yet to be finalised.
“A Strategic Assessment has been developed by VicRoads regarding the South Gippsland Highway east of Koonwarra, known as the Black Spur,” Mr Lawrence said.
“The preferred option is provided via the Strategic Assessment, which is evaluated against other road infrastructure proposals across the state.
“The Strategic Assessment will help form the business case, which will be presented to Government in mid-2016 for funding consideration.
“VicRoads has been working closely with South Gippsland Shire Council, freight industries, tourism bodies and the community in developing the Strategic Assessment.”
The issue has been raised in parliament recently as Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien campaigns to have Black Spur upgraded.
He called on the Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan to clear up what was happening with the Black Spur, an important project for South Gippsland.
“The realignment of the Black Spur section of the South Gippsland Highway is a high priority project for me and the local community,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It’s been somewhat confusing over the past few months with VicRoads holding an information session on the business case and the Minister later telling me the business case is still being developed.
“This project should be under consideration for this year’s budget, but it is unclear now whether this is the case.
“I’ve called on the Minister in Parliament to explain exactly what’s happening and make it clear to the people of South Gippsland where this project is at.”
Minister for roads responds
This response from a spokesperson for the Minister for Roads was given to the Sentinel-Times on Monday night: “The former Liberal Government had four years to deliver the realignment of Black Spur and did nothing.
“VicRoads has completed the strategic assessment which has helped to form the basis of a business case.
“The business case is due for submission to the Government in mid-2016.”