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May 27, 2016

The Nationals Member for Gippsland and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has announced $590,000 to support a $2.1 million extension of Giles Street in Bairnsdale.

Mr Chester said the extension would provide a new link and alternative route between the Bairnsdale industrial precinct and the East Gippsland Livestock Exchange.

He said as a result of the project, travelling distance between the industrial precinct and saleyards will be reduced by 1.5 kilometres.

“This project has strong support from the local business community and will have long-lasting safety and productivity benefits,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s estimated that more than 1700 vehicles, including 770 heavy vehicles, will use the new route, meaning they can avoid travelling through the more central areas of Bairnsdale to access either the industrial area or saleyards.

“I commend East Gippsland Shire on working with the community to come up with a practical solution that adequately meets the needs of heavy vehicle operators and local traffic.”

East Gippsland Shire Council, Chief Executive Officer, Gary Gaffney, said council would fully fund the bridge component ($850,000) and contribute an additional $589,000.

“The creation of this link will allow vehicles to detour from the centre of Bairnsdale and avoid multiple sets of traffic lights and heavy traffic during peak periods,” Mr Gaffney said.

“The works will commence early in 2017 and are expected to be completed by the middle of the year.”

Mr Chester said there would also be additional safety upgrades along the entire stretch of the Princes Highway in Gippsland.

“The Coalition is also investing a combined $760,000 to support a $1.5 million upgrade of safety markers on the Princes Highway between Longwarry and the New South Wales border.

“These works will include reflector guideposts marking informal rest areas for trucks and high-standard signage at 27 formal heavy vehicle rest areas along the 420km section of highway.

“We are committed to working with the heavy vehicle industry and getting on with the job of providing safer and more productive freight network.

“A competitive freight industry supports jobs and growth in our primary industries and there are flow-on safety benefits from these upgrades for all road users.”

Mr Chester said the Princes Highway east and Rosedale roundabout projects were supported by the Victorian Government and would commence in 2017.

The Coalition has committed a total of $97 million for projects under Round Five of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme.

Funding for the programme was also extended as part of the 2016/17 Budget, ensuring that $40 million a year continues to flow and deliver projects on an annual basis from 2019/20.


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