Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is seeking a $10 million road funding commitment to improve safety and boost tourism in Mallacoota and Gypsy Point.
The local MP has placed a bid with the Federal Government to provide the money for the main access road linking Mallacoota to the Princes Highway at Genoa.
“The main access road linking Mallacoota to the Princes Highway has not received any major upgrades over the past 20 years and it was severely compromised during last summer’s bushfires,” Mr Chester said.
“The road was closed for more than a month which hampered the response, relief and recovery efforts. We need to build a better, safer and more resilient transport link between the highway and the coast for the benefit of locals and visitors.
“The project has the support of the Mallacoota and District Recovery Association as one of the key bushfire recovery initiatives needed in the region.
“I’ve met with the Federal Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack to highlight the community’s concerns and hopefully we can get some action.”
Mr Chester said he was aware of preliminary plans by Regional Roads Victoria and East Gippsland Shire Council to undertake road shoulder widening, general safety upgrades, hazard removal, safety barrier installations and CBD enhancements.
“But nothing will happen without a major funding commitment,” Mr Chester said.
“As part of the bushfire recovery effort, I was pleased to secure $9 million to finish sealing the Bonang Road and now we need to get a significant chunk of funding for the Mallacoota-Genoa Road.
“Mallacoota was the community most adversely impacted by the summer bushfires and the road safety improvements would enhance the resilience of this key access route in emergency situations, as well as delivering economic benefits through the visitor economy.
“Upgrading the access road to Mallacoota and Gypsy Point will stimulate increased visitation and improve safety for locals.
“The road needs more than maintenance: it requires significant improvement to bring it up to an acceptable standard.”