O’Brien takes Black Spur fight to Parliament
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has raised in State Parliament the need for Melbourne Labor to fund the realignment of the Black Spur section of the South Gippsland Highway.
Mr O’Brien said the realignment on the windy and dangerous section of road between Koonwarra and Meeniyan was one of the most important projects for the region, which was why The Nationals in Government provided funding for the business case, which is now complete.
“Over the past five years there have been some 13 reported accidents, a number of them involving truck rollovers. In those accidents there have been 32 people impacted and four serious injuries,” Mr O’Brien said.
“In response to community and stakeholder discussion last year, the previous Coalition Government provided $211,000, in concert with the federal government, to allow for a business case to be prepared.”
Mr O’Brien said the cost of the realignment was around $51 million.
“While I appreciate this is a significant amount of money, this is a very important stretch of the road that links the region’s dairy and livestock industries and also the oil and gas sector at Barry Beach and Port Anthony,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Around 5,000 vehicles travel on this section of road daily, including about 800 trucks. It is estimated that at least 7 per cent of all Victorian milk product is transported along this section of highway between Leongatha and Yarram.
“This is an important project that is well supported by the local community and by the South Gippsland Shire Council and funding needs to be allocated by Melbourne Labor in next year’s Budget,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr O’Brien said the realignment would include two bridges spanning about 100 metres over the Tarwin River valley, which would shorten the existing section by more than one kilometre, while providing a safer and more efficient journey for industry and tourism.
“I invite the Roads Minister to visit this section of road and more particularly give serious consideration to the business case and ensure that this project is funded in next year’s budget,” Mr O’Brien said.