What’s the hold up? Call for action on Black Spur
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has raised concerns about delays over the Black Spur re-alignment of the South Gippsland Highway in State Parliament.
Speaking on a new roads bill, Mr O’Brien said the Federal Coalition Government’s $25 million contribution to the project was announced in 2016 and the State Government matched it the following year.
“We’re now nearly two years down the track from the full $50 million budget being allocated and yet there has still not been any start to this important project.
“I’ve been campaigning for this since I was elected and am pleased that the funding has been allocated by both levels of government but many local motorists are asking ‘what’s actually happening?’
“There are 4,000 cars and 1,000 trucks that use this stretch of road every day and it has a serious accident rate eight times the state-wide average.
“That’s why we need these difficult bends realigned and the Andrews Labor Government needs to get on with it.”
Mr O’Brien said he had raised the issue last year with the then Minister for Roads, the Hon Luke Donnellan, who said environmental approvals were holding up the process.
“The people of South Gippsland don’t really care whether it’s federal or state government, but they want this project to proceed as quickly as possible.
“I’m sure that many people are becoming cynical as to whether it will ever happen, but I am determined to make sure that it is delivered, given the money is there and the project is ready to go.
“It is time though, that the State Government got on with it.”
Mr O’Brien said VicRoads had told a community meeting in February last year that work would start in the summer of 18/19.
“Well, we’re now into autumn and people are getting frustrated that they’re seeing no progress.
“I urge the State and Federal Governments to quickly finalise any outstanding environmental and cultural approvals so that this project can proceed as quickly as possible.
“It will improve travel times for locals, increase local freight efficiency, make our region more attractive for tourists and importantly improve safety for motorists. It’s time this project got underway.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O'Brien is asking why the Black Spur realignment project has stalled.