Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says Premier Daniel Andrews is wasting money on Princes Highway works which no-one wants but refusing to invest in the safety of Gippslanders who travel the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale.
Mr Chester has written to the Victorian Premier twice since January to ask the State Government to allocate its share of the funding needed to finish the duplication of the highway between Traralgon and Sale.
“Both of my letters have been ignored by a Premier who is too arrogant to listen to the concerns of locals,” Mr Chester said. “But at the same time, the State Government is proceeding with a controversial rollout of roadside barriers between Sale and Bairnsdale, which has frustrated many motorists who have contacted me.
“The State Government should start listening to local motorists and focus on finishing the duplication and then consult with locals on the works east of Sale.”
Mr Chester said the Federal Government was not funding the works from Sale to Bairnsdale and was focused on the duplication project to Traralgon.
“Last year I secured $132 million in Federal Government funding to complete the final two stages of the duplication project,” Mr Chester said.
“The total cost for these last sections at Flynn and Kilmany is $165 million. The State Government just needs to put up its $33 million share and the job will get done once and for all.
“We were told funding would be provided for these last stages when the other nine stages were finished. Work on those sections was completed in December and the heavy machinery was taken away months ago.
“The Premier is quick to criticise Federal Government funding for infrastructure in Victoria, but there is $132 million from Canberra ready to be spent in Gippsland and the Premier just isn’t interested.
“Instead, Mr Andrews has remained silent, will not answer my letters and is leaving Gippslanders unsure if this project, the most important road safety project east of Melbourne, will ever be finished.”