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State Labor called on to match Federal road funds

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has called on the Melbourne Labor Government to provide matching funding for roads following the re-election of the Federal Coalition Government.

Mr O’Brien said the Federal Coalition had made significant commitments for South Gippsland roads on the basis that they would be matched by the State.

“My Federal colleague and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Darren Chester has committed $25 million for the South Gippsland Highway and $5 million for the Hyland Highway between Traralgon and Yarram contingent on matching grants from the state,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This funding has been reallocated from money earmarked for the now-scrapped East West Link project with The Nationals ensuring a significant proportion of this money was delivered to rural areas.

“The State has agreed in principle to match the funding put forward by the Commonwealth and I expect the Roads Minister Luke Donnellan to now match the funding for these important road upgrades in my electorate.”

Mr O’Brien said much of the South Gippsland Highway funding would go towards the realignment of the Black Spur section, between Koonwarra and Meeniyan, one of the most dangerous parts of the highway.

“This project is costed at $51 million and the Federal commitment is an absolute gift for Luke Donnellan who would otherwise have been faced with funding the entire project himself,” Mr O’Brien said.

“With The Nationals insisting on a share of the Port of Melbourne lease sale proceeds going back to regional road and rail projects, Luke Donnellan will soon have up to have $700 million at his disposal. Therefore there is no excuse not to provide the funding.

“I am also hopeful that between the two levels of government we can deliver both the Black Spur realignment as well as road improvements and an overtaking lane between Foster and Welshpool.

“Likewise, the $5 million for the Hyland Highway should easily pay for sealing of road shoulders, widening of the road and an additional overtaking lane when matched by the State.

“Roads are the biggest issue in my electorate and the South Gippsland and Hyland Highways are in urgent need of additional funding. Labor has no excuse not to match these commitments.

“Already I’ve called in Parliament for this funding to be delivered and with the Federal Coalition’s reelection now confirmed, we need the Melbourne Labor Government to deliver its share.”

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The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien is calling on the Melbourne Labor Government to show it cares for country motorists and match Federal funding that will improve safety and see many local roads upgraded. Mr O’Brien is pictured here on the Hyland Highway with Federal Minister for Roads Darren Chester.

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