THE South Gippsland Highway is getting closer towards a major upgrade with negotiations between the State and Federal Governments moving forward.
Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien has been campaigning for State Government funding to match a Federal Coalition commitment of $25 million to the highway and believes negotiations are progressing well.
Mr O’Brien raised the matter in Parliament again last week.
“I’ve raised this matter with the Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan, in Parliament and I understand from him, and from my Federal colleague Darren Chester, that negotiations have been positive.
“The Federal Coalition committed $25 million with $20 million expected to go toward the realignment of the Black Spur and $5 million to upgrade road between Foster and Yarram.
“This is conditional upon matching funding from the state which would mean we could deliver the Black Spur realignment and hopefully an overtaking lane and road improvements between Foster and Welshpool.
“It’s time the State Government coughed up its share given this commitment from the Commonwealth which has no direct responsibility for the South Gippsland Highway.
“Daniel Andrews and Luke Donnellan shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
“This commitment by Darren Chester and Russell Broadbent is a windfall for the State Government, but most importantly will deliver a better road for the people of South Gippsland.”
Mr O’Brien said he understood VicRoads had purchased land and planned an overtaking lane to the west of Toora some years ago and he was campaigning for that to be part of the plans as well as the Black Spur realignment.
“While the winding section of the Black Spur between Koonwarra and Meeniyan is dangerous and there have been several serious accidents there over the years, it is not the only part of the road that needs work.
“A new overtaking lane between Foster and Toora would be ideal, as well as sealing the shoulders in some sections and making some of the curves safer.
“It’s absolutely critical that we upgrade our roads and Daniel Andrews and the Melbourne Labor Government need to get on with matching this important Federal Coalition contribution.”
Mr O’Brien said the Federal Government had also committed $6 million to the Hyland Highway between Traralgon and Yarram and the State Government must also match this to deliver an improved road.