Gippsland South Roads

Labor’s first road works program misses the target

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said there was little proposed to improve roads in South Gippsland in Labor’s first road works program.

Mr O’Brien asked a question in Parliament seeking detail on how much Labor would spend and which roads would be upgraded in Gippsland South as part of this year’s works program.

Mr O’Brien said while it was pleasing to see that the Roads Minister, in his reply, had recognised that funds needed to be spent in South Gippsland, there were no specifics on which sections would be resurfaced or upgraded.  The answer also included works funded by the previous Coalition Government such as the Leongatha heavy vehicle bypass and a new overtaking lane on the Strzelecki Highway.

“The Minister says that resurfacing on the Hyland, South Gippsland and Strzelecki highways will be given "priority" in this year’s statewide road surface replacement program, however fails to identify specific locations or whether that actually means works will be undertaken,” Mr O’Brien said.

“While the Minister has highlighted that these local roads will be prioritised, his reply gives no indication of how many kilometres will actually be resurfaced.

“Motorists who travel daily between towns like Yarram, Korumburra, Leongatha and Nyora deserve to know that the worst sections of these crumbling roads will be improved.”

Mr O’Brien said The Nationals in Government had worked hard to ensure an additional $130 million was allocated to roads maintenance in the Coalition’s last budget, which brought the total roads investment to more than $500 million annually, up from $384 million under Labor.

“In addition, motorists are now benefiting from Coalition’s investment that enabled overtaking lanes on the Strzelecki and Hyland Highways to be constructed,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Furthermore, a new overtaking lane on the Strzelecki Highway at Driffield, also funded by the Coalition at State and Federal levels, will allow motorists heading towards Mirboo North the chance to overtake slow moving milk and timber transport vehicles, which can become frustrating for many drivers.

Mr O’Brien said the higher than average rainfall and hilly topography of South Gippsland qualified it for additional roads funding.

“To see no real detail of how Labor plans to upgrade the roads in South Gippsland is disappointing but not surprising,” Mr O’Brien said.

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