Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has announced a further $60 million to improve road safety and upgrade visitor facilities along the Princes Highway if the Coalition Government is re-elected on Saturday.
Mr Chester said the funding would be used to upgrade hazardous sections of the Princes Highway, improve pedestrian safety, and to enhance town streetscapes and visitor facilities along the highway from Rosedale to the New South Wales border.
“The focus will be on streetscape upgrades in Sale, Stratford, Nowa Nowa and Lakes Entrance and improved pedestrian safety measures as required in all towns intersected by the Princes Highway,” Mr Chester said.
“In addition to much needed road safety upgrades, this funding will also be used to develop more heavy vehicle parking and rest areas at key locations along this stretch of the Princes Highway to encourage the travelling public to take a break and stay longer in Gippsland.
“This is a new commitment. It’s on top of the $50 million in road safety upgrades already underway along the Princes Highway between Sale and the New South Wales border and in addition to the $342 million to duplicate the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale.”
This year’s Federal Budget included a $1 billion down-payment on upgrades to be identified through the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Princes Highway provided an important link between regional communities in three states and allowed freight to be moved from key agricultural areas to major cities and ports.
“The Morrison Government has committed $1 billion to deliver improvements along the whole length of the Princes Highway, but it is identifying the local priorities to improve safety, reduce travel times and support local industry and tourism that actually make a difference,” Mr McCormack said.
This announcement builds on the Federal Government’s support for local roads through the $2.2 billion Local and State Government Road Safety Package to help address accident black spots and local road and bridge upgrades.
This includes a 25% increase in the Roads to Recovery allocations for local councils to maintain the roads they are responsible for, bringing annual Roads to Recovery payments to $500 million across the nation.