Roads Gippsland South The Nationals Port of Melbourne Hyland Highway South Gippsland Highway Princes Highway

Regional motorists big winners in Port sale deal

Millions of dollars should be spent on upgrading roads in Gippsland after the Port of Melbourne lease was finalised this week, delivering a guaranteed $970 million for regional road and rail projects.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said the leasing of the port would deliver $970 million for road and rail upgrades in the state’s regions.

“The Nationals fought hard to ensure that regional areas like Gippsland would benefit from the leasing of this asset and refused to support the legislation until at least 10 per cent of the lease proceeds was guaranteed for the regions,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This means that Melbourne Labor now has the money and absolutely no excuse not to fully fund projects that will deliver better rail services and roads for those in Gippsland and make it safer and more efficient to get from school, home and work.”

Mr O’Brien said the funding would enable projects such as the Princes Highway east duplication and works on the South Gippsland and Hyland Highways to be completed.

“There are still two stages of the Princes Highway project unfunded and I know the Commonwealth, through Darren Chester, is ready to come on board with its contribution when Melbourne Labor announces its funding,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In addition, the Commonwealth has set aside $25 million for the South Gippsland Highway and an additional $6 million for the Hyland Highway, between Traralgon and Yarram. This investment, coupled with matching funds from the State, would go a long way to provide safer and better roads.

“These are important projects, the State Government now has the money and should be getting on with it. It shouldn’t just be spending all the money on freeways in the city. We deserve our fair share as well.

"After axing the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program and wasting $1.1 billion to NOT build the East-West Link, Labor has a lot of catching up to do.

“Gippsland roads are in a poor state of repair, they need additional funding spent on them and Labor now has no excuse.”

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