THE road’s a death trap. Locals up Clancy’s Road, on the edge of Korumburra, have been saying so for years.

But now there’s a plan to continue work on the road at an estimated project cost of $2.077 million, for which funding of $182,531 has just been approved through the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI) Program.

It’s a start!

Council has also requested additional funding from the Victorian Government’s AgriLinks Upgrade Program towards the project, with $1,379,721 currently pending.

If the shire added $514,860 of its own money, it would be happy days.

Roger Whittingslow, one of the road’s long-suffering residents is delighted.

“I wrote to the shire recently actually praising them for what they have done already but also seeking information on where they are at,” Mr Whittingslow said.

“We’re concerned about heading into another summer. We don’t want it to end up like it was before.”

Mr Whittingslow said the shire had fully surveyed the road, added culverts and extended the seal and made real improvements but more work was certainly needed.

The Federal Government funding for Clancy’s Road is part of a $2,384,531 allocation from the LRCI fund, with the council’s success in attracting the money down to the excellent engineering, projects and grants team.

“This is welcome news for South Gippsland Shire community members,” said Administrator Christian Zahra at last week’s council meeting after the tabling of Integrated Services and Infrastructure report.

“It obviously provides support through the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, which we’ll be able to direct in a way which is significant to local people using the work of our infrastructure people, to ensure that that funding goes to where it’s most needed,” he said.

“This is a welcome initiative for us and I think it just shows when you have got that work done at a local level within our council, when these initiatives arise whether it be at a federal government or a state government level, it puts you in a position to be able to respond quickly and that’s precisely what’s required in these types of fast moving situations.

“So, it’s very welcome and I commend all those who’ve been involved in making sure we take advantage of this opportunity,” he said, moving a motion to accept the recommendation on how the funds would be spent locally.

A total of $2,384,531 has been received by the South Gippsland Shire from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

On May 22, 2020, the Australian Government announced a new $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI Program). This program will support local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia, supporting jobs, and the resilience of local economies to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic

The LRCI Program is part of the Australian Government’s $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia which will also help communities battling the effects of COVID-19.

South Gippsland Shire Council was allocated $2,384,531 under this program. Council was required to submit a Works Schedule with nominated projects to the funding body for approval.

The projects submitted by Council and approved on August 20, 2020:

  • Clancys Road, Korumburra (Stage 2). Stage 2 works include the reconstruction and widening of 600m of sealed road from the intersection of Scott and Faheys Road to the end of the existing seal, and reconstruction and sealing of 2,400m of gravel road from the end of the existing seal. The total project cost is estimated at $2,077,112.00, for which funding of $182,531 has been approved through the LRCI Program. Council has also requested additional funding from the Victorian Government’s AgriLinks Upgrade Program towards the project, which is currently pending.
  • Loch-Poowong Road, Loch. This project is for the rehabilitation of a section of road that will improve safety and restore pavement strength to carry more traffic loads. The total project cost is estimated at $1,200,000 which funding of $700,000 has been approved through the LRCI Program.
  • Atherton Drive, Venus Bay. This project is for the reconstruction and sealing of a 200m length of road from the end of the existing seal at Nell Street to Spring Street just past the entrance to No 5 Beach. Total project cost is estimated at $177,000 which will be fully funded through the LRCI Program.
  • Road Rehabilitation Bundle. The total cost for the three projects is estimated at $550,000 which will be fully funded through the LRCI Program:
  • Bena Kongwak Road, Bena – proposed works are to reconstruct 300 lineal metres of narrow sealed pavement between Ch 1.95km and 2.25km. The works intend to improve vertical road geometry and provide safer property access. Reconstruction works include installation of SM2 kerb and channel, new underground stormwater pipes and agricultural drains, pavement widening to 6.2m width plus road shoulders, new 300mm depth compacted crushed rock road pavement, spray seal surface, guidepost, signage, and line marking.
  • Ferrier Street, Korumburra – proposed works are to reconstruct defined elements of the street. Reconstruction works to incorporate the replacement of B2 kerb and channel with SM2 kerb and channel along both sides of the road. Install underground agricultural drains, replace concrete stormwater pits, replace existing footpath, asphalt overlay, and tree planting on the nature strip.
  • Old Waratah Road, Fish Creek – proposed works are to replace 350m of kerb and channel from Meeniyan Promontory Road, the construction of two slow points, and asphalting the road surface.
  • Upper Commercial Street, Korumburra This project is for the construction of a new car park comprising at least 30 new parking spaces with associated access and infrastructure at the Korumburra Railway Station Precinct to service the adjacent commercial area. The total cost of the project is estimated at $700,000 which funding of $450,000 has been approved through the LRCI Program.
  • Poowong Netball/Tennis Courts Redevelopment This project is for the redevelopment of two old tennis courts at the Poowong Recreation Reserve to provide a mixed-use facility, comprising two upgraded tennis courts, and one compliant netball court with competition standard lighting. Council has already received $100,000 from the Victorian Government’s Sport and Recreation Victoria, Country Football and Netball Program with Council and the community each committing $50,000. Further detailed designs indicated that there was a significant shortfall to the original estimate of $200,000. The project cost was revised to an estimated $550,000. The community increased their contribution to $75,000 and funding of $325,000 was approved through the LRCI Program. This allowed for the project to proceed. Fortunately, the tender for the project came in under budget and therefore there is funding of $134,000 available to nominate an additional project through the LRCI Program.
  • Port Welshpool Marine Search and Rescue Hub Redevelopment Project. A business case has been prepared for Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) – Port Welshpool Flotilla to redevelop the current site of the Port Welshpool Marine Search and Rescue Hub. The project involves the demolition of the existing buildings that are in a state of disrepair, and constructing on the site, modern, purpose-built premises involving a kit-based building and adjacent storage shed that will be the Port Welshpool Marine Search and Rescue Hub for the future. The estimated cost of the project is $450,000. The AVCGA – Port Welshpool Flotilla have submitted an application to Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) for $300,000 and have sought assistance from Council to deliver the project. It is recommended that Council nominate this as an additional project to the Works Schedule through the LRCI Program for the remaining $134,000 from the Poowong Netball/Tennis Courts Redevelopment project. It is also recommended that Council allocate the remaining $16,000 from the 2020/21 Community Infrastructure Projects budget. The project is shovel ready and to meet EMV requirements, the project must commence by December 2020. Council has issued a planning permit for the project in October 2020 and it is anticipated EMV’s grant will be announced in October 2020. The LRCI Program presents an opportunity for Council to support a local volunteer group that provides an essential safety service to both the local and broader boating community.