TRARALGON BYPASS

Adjournment

Mr D O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (17:19): (6304) My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and I seek from him an update and indeed progress on the Traralgon bypass on the Princes Highway. This is an issue of interest particularly to my constituents in the Wellington shire, beyond Traralgon, and no doubt to those of the member for Gippsland East as well, further along the road. The government provided $1.4 million for planning of this bypass in 2017, although that is the latest in a long list of planning. This has been planned, I reckon, since the late 1980s—

Mr Richardson interjected.

Mr D O’BRIEN: When I was a wee lad, member for Mordialloc, the Traralgon bypass was an issue that was being talked about. But so far that is all that has been done—it has been talked about. It is an issue that needs to be addressed.

I count 10 sets of traffic lights in Traralgon. There will soon be, I believe, an 11th, at the golf course, across the railway line there, because even though that was something that was funded by this government apparently in the budget four years ago, it still has not happened, and it is now being funded by the federal government. So that will make it 11 sets of traffic lights through Traralgon from west to east, and it has become a congestion issue. While I appreciate that there may be some businesses in town, in Traralgon itself, that will be concerned about a bypass, I actually think Traralgon itself would benefit, because there is such congestion in there now. But certainly those motorists travelling beyond Traralgon would benefit immensely from the bypass.

There are concerns, I understand, about the bypass. The planned route would go close to the Loy Yang mine, and I believe according to the Regional Roads Victoria website there are some concerns or some issues about how the mine is going to be rehabilitated. That mine is scheduled not to be rehabilitated for decades yet, so we cannot simply keep using that as an excuse. We do actually need to get on with this project in a safe manner, in a manner that can ensure that the bypass will be in a good location and not subject to subsidence or any other issues as a result of the mine. But we do need to address that.

I know that the Traralgon community and Latrobe City Council also would like to see some accommodation of flood mitigation on the Traralgon Creek, so potentially the bypass could include some sort of flood mitigation as well. The Traralgon Creek is a regular problem in terms of flooding for the people of Traralgon. I have been saying for some time to people that we need to get the duplication of the highway between Traralgon and Sale done first, but that is now finally happening and well underway, so I think we now should be moving to what the next big job on the Princes Highway east is, and that is going to be the Traralgon bypass. So I would like to get an update on where the planning is at from the minister but, more importantly, actually start to progress this and get funding underway, get a final route confirmed and ensure that we do get that town bypassed.

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