O’Brien: Labor must match South Gippy Highway funding
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has raised in State Parliament the need for the Melbourne Labor Government to match funding committed by the Federal Coalition to the South Gippsland Highway and the Black Spur realignment project.
Mr O’Brien said the $25 million commitment by the Federal Coalition to fund upgrade works on the highway between Leongatha and Yarram, with a particular focus on the Black Spur, was a magnificent breakthrough.
“Today in Parliament I called on the Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan, to match the commitment of the Coalition to ensure the Black Spur realignment goes ahead,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I have also asked him when the business case for the Black Spur project will be finished so that we can all get clarity and after the Federal Election work quickly to deliver this important project if the Coalition is returned.
“I have been working on roads funding in general and the Black Spur realignment in particular since my election last year. I have been constantly disappointed by the cuts the Labor Government has implemented, including the abolition of the Country Roads and Bridges Program, but the Federal Coalition commitment to the highway is a game changer.
“This will make the State Government’s job a lot easier and give Labor no excuses not to fund the project.
“Additionally, The Nationals held out to ensure that 10 per cent of the proceeds of the Port of Melbourne sale are returned to country roads and rail which provide up to $700 million for projects.
“The South Gippland Highway and the Black Spur in particular are ideal and I’m calling on Luke Donnellan to step up and deliver for South Gippsland to ensure this important project goes ahead.”
Mr O’Brien said that he was hopeful that the Federal funding would assist with the Black Spur realignment and also deliver upgrades further along the highway between Foster and Welshpool.
“In my experience this is one of the worst areas and if the State Government matches the Federal commitment we could build an additional overtaking lane and do some work to widen road shoulders and improve the surface of the road. Labor now needs to get onboard and help us improve this important arterial.”
The Nationals’ Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien and Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath at the top of the Black Spur during last week’s announcement.