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East Gippsland Shire Council has received a $2.33 million payment from the Federal Government to improve the safety of local roads.

The money is part of almost $18 million East Gippsland will receive under the Roads to Recovery Program over four years to 2023-24.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said East Gippsland was among 234 municipalities to share more than $77 million paid this quarter for safer, better roads.

“It’s a sad fact that a disproportionate number of people are killed on rural roads and for many years I have campaigned for projects that improve road safety across Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.

“This additional money will provide the council with the opportunity and means to further improve roads around East Gippsland. There are projects underway, projects ready to start and others already completed.

“East Gippsland is a vast region with countless roads that need to be maintained to remain safe and useable and bridges that need to be maintained or upgraded to ensure roads remain accessible and to protect the integrity of the bridge itself.”

Among the priority road safety projects in East Gippsland are:

  • the Harmans Road bridge, Johnsonville ($319,862)
  • the Waterholes Road bridge, Clifton Creek ($250,000)
  • the Wattle Hill Road bridge, Buchan South ($286,562)
  • Lake Tyers Beach Road, Lake Tyers Beach ($820,000), and
  • Sandy Flat Road and bridge, Orbost ($1,090,450).

A big slice of East Gippsland’s Roads to Recovery funding will go to Phillips Lane and McMillan Street in East Bairnsdale where the cost of safety improvements total $3.19 million. The Federal Government is providing $1.67 million for the project, which is expected to be completed in coming months.

Mr Chester stopped by the intersection of the two roads with Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull.

“Providing this funding to the council means high priority projects can be undertaken with local knowledge of the road network and the needs of drivers,” Mr Chester said.

“While the Roads to Recovery program is designed to help our councils to maintain local roads, such a significant investment in maintaining and upgrading our transport infrastructure provides a welcome injection of Federal Government money into the local economy to support Gippsland contractors and suppliers and local jobs.”

Assistant Minister for the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said the Federal Government had committed an additional $100 million per year to the Roads to Recovery Program from 2019–20, as part of the

Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019–20 Budget.

“From 2013–14 to 2023–24, the government will provide $6.2 billion under the Roads to Recovery Program, with an ongoing commitment of $500 million each year following,” Mr Hogan said.

“We are investing in infrastructure nationwide in order to lay the foundations for economic recovery on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.”

 

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