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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has locked in a $2 million commitment from the Federal Government to seal 12 kilometres of Bonang Road between Goongerah and Bonang in far east Gippsland.

Mr Chester said the Federal Government would fund half the cost of sealing the road if re-elected on May 18.

“The total project is worth $4 million and requires matching funding from the Victorian Government,” Mr Chester said.

“Upgrading this important route will improve safety for trucks carrying livestock and timber through the area, as well as locals, producers and other heavy vehicles.

“Bonang Road is also popular with touring motorists and motorcyclists travelling to and from Gippsland across the mountains and I want to make the journey through this region as safe as possible.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrades would increase efficiency for local industries.

“Sealing this final section of the road will provide tangible economic and social benefits and make a real difference to the day-to-day lives of locals who live in this area,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is another example of the Liberals and Nationals investing in local priorities that make roads safer.”

Today’s announcement comes on top of road and bridge funding secured by Mr Chester, including
•  $25 million for Princes Highway upgrades from Sale to the New South Wales border;
•  $5 million for the Great Alpine Road, and
•  more than $4.2 million for seven bridges in East Gippsland, including two at Bonang, one at Timbarra and another near Genoa.

Meanwhile, safety upgrades are now underway along the Monaro Highway between Cann River and New South Wales.

Mr Chester, who secured $10 million in funding from the federal and state governments, said he was pleased a local contractor had begun work to improve the highway’s safety, accessibility, efficiency and reliability.

“The Monaro Highway on the Victorian side of the border is in poor condition compared to the New South Wales side and Gippsland freight operators will be pleased to see these works completed,” Mr Chester.

“Importantly, the contract has been awarded to Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing in Bairnsdale, so there will also be employment benefits while the works are underway.”

Stage one  – the construction of the Cann River roundabout  – was completed last July. Stage two is now underway and includes sealing the road shoulders and driveways, improving access points and installing audio-tactile marking.  Work on slow-vehicle pullover areas, a truck turnaround area and signage upgrades will begin later in the year.

Mr Chester said the highway was a critical transport route for heavy vehicle, freight and tourism traffic.

“These upgrades will improve safety,  accessibility, efficiency and reliability on the Monaro Highway between Cann River and the NSW border,” Mr Chester said.

“They are focussed on reducing run-off-road crashes and improving both travel times and the overall driving experience.”

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