Jan 15, 2024 | Latest News

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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has urged bureaucrats to ‘speed up the delivery of urgent road safety projects’ as motorists wait years for projects to start.

Mr Chester said it was frustrating to secure funding for projects and then wait years for work to begin.

“After a year of increased road deaths and serious injuries, I would expect the state and federal governments to fast track road safety improvements but they are stuck in the slow lane and Minister Catherine King is refusing to answer basic questions,” Mr Chester said.

“Our highways and major arterial roads across East Gippsland are a patchwork quilt of potholes and crumbling surfaces thanks to the State Government’s failure to invest enough funding in maintenance and upgrades.

“But it’s even more frustrating that projects don’t move quickly when funding is secured. In 2021, I convinced the previous Federal Government to give the State Government $10 million to increase the resilience of the Mallacoota-Genoa Rd and deliver safety improvements.

“It’s taken 2.5 years for the State Government to paint some lines on the road and release a list of ‘things to do’ in 2024 after a farcical consultation process. 

“I provided the State Government with a list of the community’s priorities after hosting a meeting with local business owners, community groups and emergency service providers in June 2021.

“We’ve wasted more than two years and not a single section of road has been fixed. When I write to Minister King and seek an update on road funding in our region it can take her up to 10 months to even provide a reply.

“Hopefully we will see some action early in 2024 to provide better road shoulders, some pull-over areas for slow vehicles, improved sight lines and surface upgrades.”

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