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December 22, 2010

Local MPs are urging East Gippslanders to be safe on the roads over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

The 2010 Victorian Road Toll currently stands at 279, one more than at the same time last year.

Newly elected Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull and Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester have both highlighted the need for local motorists and tourists to take extra care on East Gippsland roads when travelling throughout the region over the holiday period.

“The Christmas and New Year holidays are traditionally a busy time of year throughout East Gippsland,” Mr Bull said.

“Our region’s attractions such as the Ninety Mile Beach, Gippsland Lakes and the High Country are attracting an increasing number of visitors and it’s important that all motorists are aware that extra vigilance will be required with a greater number of vehicles on the road.

“Motorists should allow for extra time when travelling and be patient at all times.”

Mr Chester, who is the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport, said he would continue his campaign for further government funding to improve the local road environment and help reduce the risk of road accidents in Gippsland.

“Anecdotally, I receive a lot of feedback from motorists who believe the standard of our major roads has dropped over the past 11 years under the Bracks and Brumby Labor Governments,” Mr Chester said.

“I am currently working with Tim Bull to highlight certain sections of road in East Gippsland such as the Princes Highway east and the Great Alpine Road which are in need of further government funding to improve the road environment and safety levels for motorists.

“The cost of road improvements has increased significantly over the past decade and I’m concerned that the amount of funding available for safety upgrades has failed to keep pace with these rising costs.

“I don’t believe that VicRoads has enough funding at its disposal to maintain a safe road environment along East Gippsland’s major transport routes and I will continue to work with Tim to promote our region’s interests.”

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