Federal funding a golden chance for tardy Labor
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has called on the Melbourne Labor Government to expedite plans for major road projects in Gippsland to take advantage of a funding offer from the Federal Government.
Mr O’Brien said the Princes Highway East duplication and the Black Spur realignment on the South Gippsland Highway are the two standout projects in Gippsland South that could attract funding from the Commonwealth, if Labor gets its act together.
Last week the Federal Government committed $345 million to be spent of safety upgrades, duplications and other roadworks in rural and regional Victoria.
“Thanks to the efforts of my Federal colleague, Member for Gippsland and Minister for Infrastructure & Transport, Darren Chester we now have a golden opportunity in Gippsland to deliver improved roads,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Black Spur project is a critical one for the South Gippsland Highway, but Labor has been dithering on a business plan funded almost two years ago by the previous Coalition Government.
“This $51 million project would do a lot to improve safety and economic efficiency on the South Gippsland Highway and given that it would be a significant project, there would be an opportunity for the State Government to access some Commonwealth funds.
“The Princes Highway East project requires a further $160 million to fully complete the duplication from Traralgon to Sale. I have asked the Minster if he has submitted a request for funding to Canberra, but have not yet received an answer.
“I would be astounded if the Labor Government has not sought Federal funding for this important project, which has already been funded 80 per cent by the Commonwealth and 20 per cent by the State.”
Mr O’Brien said Labor’s record of cuts to road funding was woeful and it now had an opportunity to let Darren Chester and Malcolm Turnbull drag them out of the mire and deliver better roads for Gippsland.
“Luke Donnellan needs to get on his bike and get these projects moving.
“When I was elected I made roads funding a priority and I’ll continue to fight for a better deal, just as The Nationals and Darren Chester have done from Canberra.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien inspects progress on the Princes Highway East duplication.