Gippsland South The Nationals Roads Black Spur South Gippsland Highway Funding federal government cost blow out

Black Spur bends: a long journey to make a shorter one

Today marks four years since the Federal Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government committed funds to get works underway on the realignment of the Black Spur bends on the South Gippsland Highway.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said he was pleased to see works finally underway, but it had been a very long process for the project which will remove dangerous bends and shorten the road between Koonwarra and Meeniyan.

Mr O’Brien has been campaigning for the project for many years and was delighted when his federal colleagues, Darren Chester as the then Federal Infrastructure Minister and Russell Broadbent, provided the initial funding, later matched by the state government.

“Removing the dangerous bends on the Black Spur Creek will dramatically improve safety and travel times for residents and visitors alike heading through South Gippsland,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I appreciate the frustration of the community as this project has been on the cards for decades, but thanks to our hard work and perseverance it is finally happening.

“It is disappointing that we are four years down the track and work is only just beginning and won’t be completed until the end of 2022.

“I am also astounded that what began as a $50 million project and was listed as such as recently as last year’s state budget, has blown out to $115.2 million. It just shows the Andrews Labor Government can’t manage money.”

Mr O’Brien said the government’s website indicated that safety upgrades between Meeniyan and Yarram would also be considered under the project.

“This was the original intent of the federal government’s commitment and would have upgraded the road and implemented an overtaking lane to the west of Toora.

“Unfortunately, due to the blow out in costs, I remain sceptical that any of this will be done but I have again asked the Minster in State Parliament for it to be considered.

“That additional money that will now be spent on the Black Spur section could have done so much good for the rest of the entire South Gippsland Highway from Cranbourne to Sale.

“Nonetheless it will be good to finally get this project done and I’m proud to see that work is finally underway.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is excited to see work on the South Gippsland Highway realignment finally underway.

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