Roads Gippsland South The Nationals Emergency Services Parliament Road safety Families Community Koonwarra Black Spur South Gippsland South Gippsland Highway

Federal funding to fix notorious sections of South Gippsland Highway

Locals and visiting motorists will benefit from major upgrades on the South Gippsland Highway under a re-elected Coalition Government.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester today announced with Liberal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent that the Federal Government would allocate $25 million to the South Gippsland Highway, to be matched dollar-for-dollar with the Victorian Government.

The exact locations of highway to be upgraded would be determined in partnership with the Victorian Government, however the Coalition expects a share of the funding would be used to fix the notorious Black Spur section south of Koonwarra.

Mr Chester and Mr Broadbent made the announcement today with The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien, and representatives of South Gippsland Shire Council.

Mr Chester described the funding allocation as “a major breakthrough” for the South Gippsland region, which had long advocated for upgrades to the highway.

“The South Gippsland Highway is a road that has long been in need of a major overhaul,” Mr Chester said.

“While the highway is not on the national road network, Russell Broadbent has been a strong advocate to secure ‘off-network' federal funding for this road on behalf of his local community.

“This funding will not only change the lives of South Gippsland residents and visitors, it can also save lives.”

Mr Broadbent said he wanted to see the funding directed to the Black Spur and other sections of the highway further east towards Yarram.

“The 3.4km section of the Black Spur bends is steep and narrow and has been the scene of more than a dozen accidents in the past five years, including serious truck crashes,” Mr Broadbent said.

“The realignment of this road is a high priority and we will consult with VicRoads and the community to ensure local residents and freight operators get home safely, and provide a safer route for tourists.

“There are also other sections of the highway further east towards Yarram that require upgrades, and I will be working with the Minister to ensure these areas are not forgotten.”

State Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said more than 4200 vehicles people drive the section of road each day, including 800 trucks.

“The South Gippsland Highway is a critical freight route for our local farmers, businesses and tourists heading to the Prom and I have spoken to trucking companies and drivers on numerous occasions about the urgent need for upgrades,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I have been advocating strongly in State Parliament for more roads money and for the Black Spur realignment in particular. This announcement today ensures there is Federal Government money on the table ready to be matched by the State Labor Government which now needs to step up to the plate."

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