Three arterial roads significantly impacted by last summer’s bushfires will receive more than $10 million in Federal Government funding to improve safety and resilience of the transport corridors.
Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Bonang Rd, Mallacoota-Genoa Rd and Great Alpine Rd would share in the funding that would include a major sealing program and safety improvements.
“As we recognise the one year anniversary of the fires which claimed lives, destroyed properties and significantly impacted the social, economic and environmental life of our region, it’s good to see the Federal Government investing in the recovery process,” Mr Chester said.
“I’ve met with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack throughout the year and highlighted the need for additional road funding to make our key transport corridors more resilient in times of emergency and safer for everyday use.
“We’ve secured a total of $9 million in Federal funding to fully seal the remaining sections of the Bonang Rd and now there’s an additional $2.1 million for the Mallacoota-Genoa Rd and $1.1 million for the Great Alpine Rd.
“All of the communities along these roads were severely impacted by the bushfires and the roads were closed at different times.
“This Federal Government funding will also improve the road surfaces, provide shoulders where required and is a down payment on future work. It will help to improve the resilience of some of the major arterial roads in East Gippsland, create jobs during construction, and also improve the long-term visitor economy outcomes for the region.”
Mr Chester said the recovery from the bushfires needed to be intensified in 2021 and he’s challenged bureaucrats to develop a greater sense of urgency to deliver the promised funds.
“The Deputy PM has worked with me to get this road funding approved, we need the bureaucrats who are running other programs to cut through the red and green tape and deliver funding for the dozens of community projects that have been put forward,” Mr Chester said.
“Projects like the East Gippsland Rail Trail, Metung Hot Springs, Mallacoota Abalone Co-op and Mallacoota Golf Club could all have started in 2020 but they are still waiting for grant applications to be processed.”