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Gippsland motorists lose as Minister bungles on Princes Highway
Labor’s Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, has been forced to make an embarrassing correction in State Parliament after falsely claiming the final two stages of the Princes Highway duplication to Sale are “underway”.
The Minister’s gaffe is the latest in a slew of frustrating failures by the Andrews Labor Government, which has continually refused to fund its share of the important road upgrade.
“The Andrews Labor Government has messed up by not completing the highway duplication and it’s Gippsland motorists that are suffering,” said The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien.
“To have the Minister then claim in Parliament that the project’s final two stages are ‘underway’ is a slap in the face and indicates she is not across her own portfolio.”
The Federal Government through Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has allocated $132 million to complete the project in its last two budgets, but there has been no funding coming from Victorian Labor, which needs to put up $33 million.
“This is a project that will improve road safety in our region, boost our local economy and the efficiency of freight movement, and make the Wellington and East Gippsland Shires more attractive places to invest, relocate to and visit,” Mr O’Brien said.
“After I raised the fact today that the Minister had misled the House, she was forced to correct the record and admit only that ‘planning’ was underway. Extraordinarily she then said that the Federal Government’s contribution ‘wasn’t enough’ to finish the project!”
“If the delay in finishing the project has led to yet another Labor Government blowout, then the state should be paying for it.
“Gippslanders are sick of the delay on this project – numerous people are raising it with me through my current ‘Your Future, Your Say’ survey and engagement program – they just want to see it finished.”
Mr O’Brien said it was extraordinary that this came on the same day the Premier called on the Prime Minister to fund more small infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy.
“Here we have a perfect example of the Federal Government doing just that, but the money’s not getting spent because Daniel Andrews won’t come to the party and get on with it. Unfortunately it’s Gippslanders who wear the consequences of Labor’s inaction.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, says the Labor Government has messed up by not funding the Princes Highway duplication to Sale.