Jun 26, 2023 | Building Safer Roads, Latest News, Putting Locals First

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Community infrastructure projects that received funding from the previous Federal Government are in danger of being cut, according to Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

Mr Chester has repeatedly criticised Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for failing to quarantine bushfire recovery and road safety projects from the so-called infrastructure review.

“East Gippsland Shire Council has raised four projects with me that were previously funded, planning is well advanced but actual construction hasn’t started which puts them in jeopardy,” Mr Chester said.

“The Minister has also refused to guarantee more than $30 million of road safety projects, that were funded from previous Coalition Government budgets, will actually proceed. Now we have community infrastructure projects like Mallacoota streetscape, Orbost Forest Park, Krauatungalung Walk and Sarsfield Recreation Reserve on Labor’s razor gang hit list.

“Delaying these projects for a bogus review process that is all about funding Labor’s own election promises is creating enormous doubt in the region, is endangering lives on our roads and increasing the costs.

“Wasting months will make the projects more expensive if they are eventually supported and at the same time, the community is missing out on much-needed road safety and local infrastructure improvements.”

Mr Chester said he would continue the fight to protect funding that had been allocated to Gippsland over the past three years.

“I have repeatedly asked the new government to guarantee the funding for road safety and bushfire recovery but the arrogance and incompetence of this government is appalling,” Mr Chester said.

“Last week, the Minister was too arrogant to even attend the consideration-in-detail debate in Federal Parliament where Opposition MPs have the opportunity to ask questions about the budget.

“All regional road safety projects that were already funded should be quarantined from any budget cuts and the Minister and her Department need to stop blocking important life-saving projects from proceeding before we have more road trauma.

“My fear is people will be killed and injured on sections of road that we have identified as requiring work and the money is not being spent because of Ministerial incompetence.

“The Albanese Government has not started a single infrastructure project in Gippsland since it was elected. Every major project that is underway at the moment was funded by the previous government and there’s no guarantee of future funding.”

Archived Content