Coalition to fund final piece

Anne Simmons

An elected Coalition government would provide a missing piece of state funding to finish the Princes Highway roadworks in the Morwell electorate motorists have been dealing with for years on end.

Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien visited the patch of earth awaiting bitumen on Friday to pledge $9 million for the highway duplication project between Traralgon and Sale.

It would mean the four kilometre section between Sheepwash Creek Road and Flynn Creek Road in the pre-construction phase would be finished.

“Most of the work has been done in terms of preparation as we understand it, but we’ll work with VicRoads and the Commonwealth to get it going, get it out to market as quickly as possible if we’re elected to government,” Mr O’Brien said.

The federal government has committed $132 million to see the entire duplication of the highway between Sale and Traralgon finished.

Two sections which await state funding are the Flynn section and another outside the Morwell electorate at Kilmany.

“Federal funding is only contingent on the state putting their share in. They’ll release it once the state goes, and until the state does the graders and bulldozers will sit idle,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Nationals’ candidate for Morwell Sheridan Bond said the completion of the project would mean a safer road.

“We’ve seen so many accidents and incidents along this particular stretch of road,” Ms Bond said.

“It will mean a safer route for not only locals but tourists but also greater efficiency for businesses that travel between Traralgon and Sale because at the moment it creates a bit of congestion around this area.”

The government’s most recent upgrade to the Princes Highway between Sale and Traralgon started in 2016 and a section at Traralgon East between Minniedale Road and Sheepwash Creek Road is expected to be completed by mid-2019.