Gippsland South The Nationals Roads Princes Highway

Daniel Andrews blames Feds for Labor’s funding fail

The Andrews Labor Government has pulled out an extraordinary excuse for its failure to fund the Princes Highway East duplication, saying the Federal Government’s budget funding for the road caught it by surprise.

Under questioning by The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, in the Public Estimates and Accounts Committee hearings this week, the Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan said it was the Commonwealth’s fault because it did not alert the State Government that the project was a priority.

“This is an extraordinary response,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The duplication between Traralgon and Sale has been going for nearly 10 years now with bipartisan support at both levels of government. Given the last two sections are unfunded and work will finish on currently funded sections this time next year, there was always a need to fund it this year.

“The Andrews Labor Government has been quick to attack the Commonwealth on infrastructure funding and yet now it is blaming the Federal Government for funding a project.

“It is ridiculous that this project may grind to a halt due to the lack of funding from the State.”

The project has been funded 80:20 by the Commonwealth and State and Darren Chester and the Federal Nationals met their end of the deal with $132 million allocated in the Federal Budget this month.

But without the matching funds from State Labor the project won’t be finished.

“Gippslanders have been tolerating seemingly endless roadworks for years now and we just want to see the project completed,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Daniel Andrews and Labor need to stop blaming someone else and get on with this important project.”


Thursday, 31 May 2018

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