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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says work on major infrastructure projects such as the Princes Highway duplication, should continue in the region, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Chester has written to the State Government seeking updated costings for the construction of the final two stages at Flynn and Kilmany.

“We need to end the stalemate on the Princes Highway duplication and get work happening again on at least one of the final two stages,” Mr Chester said.

“The Federal Government has $132 million on the table but the State Government has not allocated any funding.

“At the same time, the State hasn’t released the final costings for the work so nothing is happening at either site.

“Locals, visitors and heavy transport operators have contacted me asking for at least one of the projects to start as soon as possible.

“We need to keep local people working where it’s safe to do so and major construction projects allow for social distancing, while building much needed infrastructure that will save lives and boost productivity.

“I’ve asked the State Government to provide immediate advice on the cost of the duplication works at Flynn and Kilmany and I would support using the Federal funding as soon as possible.”

Mr Chester said he understood that the Flynn section was at an advanced stage of design and construction could begin quicker compared to the Kilmany section.

“At the end of the day, we need to see progress on at least one of these stages of the Highway duplication,” Mr Chester said.

“Keeping people working and building the infrastructure we need for the future are vital during these challenging times.”

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