October 23, 2009
Member for Gippsland South and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan today welcomed the $3.4 million in Victorian Government funding earmarked for slip repairs and better drainage on the Hyland Highway, but said it falls well short of what is needed to make the road safe.
Mr Ryan has been lobbying the government since 2003 trying to secure improvements on the Hyland Highway, the main road between Yarram and Traralgon.
“I have been urging both VicRoads and the Labor Government to install overtaking lanes and shoulders on the Hyland Highway for nearly seven years. I am pleased the government has finally committed money to this long neglected and vitally important project, but I am concerned it doesn’t go far enough,” Mr Ryan said.
“While slip repairs and better drainage are needed, the Brumby Government must commit funding for overtaking lanes and shoulders to improve safety on this vitally important road.
Mr Ryan said between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2008 there were 42 crashes recorded on the 60km length of the Hyland Highway between Yarram and Traralgon.
“This number is simply too high and if the government is serious about reducing it, it must invest more money in improving this road,’ Mr Ryan said.
“The Hyland Highway is an important link to South Gippsland and an upgraded road is crucial to daily commuters, truck drivers as well as the Yarram Business community who rely on this road for their livelihood.”
Federal Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who has also been lobbying VicRoads for urgent upgrades to the road, joined The Victorian Nationals Leader in welcoming the funding announcement.
Mr Chester said the funding was a step in the right direction.
“Finally VicRoads is recognising the importance of Hyland Highway to the Yarram district community and the urgency of roadworks which are required,” Mr Chester said.
“I will continue to work with State and Federal Government Ministers to secure more funding to improve the safety of local roads.”