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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is urging the state government to get work started on the final stages of the Traralgon-Sale, Princes Highway duplication as soon as possible.

Mr Chester said Gippslanders were increasingly worried by the unexplained delays and the state government was putting lives at risk.

“The state government finally agreed to provide its share of funding to the project more than nine months ago, yet Gippslanders are still waiting for work to start,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s got to the point where people are saying to me, ‘we will believe it, when we see it’.

“The money is there and there’s no excuse for the long delays by the state government. The project has stalled since December 2018 when the sections at Nambrok and east of Traralgon opened to traffic.

“I have been fighting alongside the community for this project for the past 10 years and the Federal Government has paid 80 percent of the costs for these critical safety and productivity improvements.

“The funding is confirmed, and we need to finally get construction work started on this $252.6 million project.”

Mr Chester said the final stages of the project would provide jobs and stimulate confidence in the future of the region.

“This project will change lives and it will save lives. It will improve road safety and reduce travel times, leading to greater productivity and connectivity in our region,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s great for locals and the visitor economy as it helps to move people and freight more quickly, and much more safely.”

The Federal Government is providing $202.6 million for the final stages of the duplication project and the Victorian Government is providing $50 million.

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