Black Spur The Nationals Danny O'Brien road Roads Gippsland South Funding Budget blowout

Taxpayers fork out for another Labor blowout

Victorian taxpayers will again be forced to fork out for another disastrous Labor Government major project blowout with the Black Spur realignment of the South Gippsland Highway blowing out a whopping 130 per cent.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said today he was astounded that after South Gippslanders were forced to wait so long for this project to actually get underway, it has now been revealed the cost is more than double the estimate from just six months ago.

“I’ve been campaigning for this project for nearly five years now and have been frustrated like most South Gippsland motorists that it has been constantly delayed.

“When my Federal colleague, Darren Chester provided half the Federal funding for this project in 2016 it was a $50 million project.

“The state budget papers in May, just six months ago, confirmed the total project was $50 million and yet today we have an announcement that it is going to tender at $115.2 million.

“That is an extraordinary blowout that deserves explanation by Transport Infrastructure Minister, Jacinta Allan.

“While I’m relieved the project is finally going to get underway with the appointment of a contractor, it is astounding that the project has blown out so much in such a short time.

“Clearly the Labor Government has not been honest with Victorians about this project.

“The additional funding that’s going towards this bungled project could have been used to fix up other sections of the South Gippsland Highway, the Strzelecki Highway, the Hyland Highway or other local roads like Meeniyan-Promontory Road.

“It’s ironic and immensely frustrating that the state component of this blowout is almost exactly the $33 million needed to finish the duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale.

“Unfortunately it’s taxpayers that will bear the brunt of Labor’s poor project management and we’re seeing it too through the state budget which last week went into the red by over $800 million for the first quarter of this year.

“Gippslanders want this project to be finished but they will be astounded that it is now going to cost so much more than the estimates over the last five years.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is frustrated that yet again Labor’s mismanagement will cost taxpayers more.

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