The State Government has been accused of ‘insulting Gippslanders’ with a ‘pathetic response’ to requests to finish the Princes Highway duplication projects between Traralgon and Sale.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has today released a letter from the State Government which followed four requests from the local MP directly to the Premier to fund his share of the final two stages.
The Federal Government has already committed $132 million to duplicate the remaining sections but the State Government has refused to provide $33 million to finish the job.
“The pathetic response I’ve received from the Transport Minister on behalf of the Premier is insulting to Gippslanders and offers no assurance that the road will be fully duplicated,” Mr Chester said.
“I’ve written to the Premier four times since January this year in behalf of Gippslanders who want the road finished but he’s been too arrogant to even acknowledge my correspondence.
“Now I receive a letter from his Minister saying ‘the exact timing and funding for the project delivery phase will be announced in due course’.
“It’s just another example of Gippslanders being treated with contempt by a Premier who hasn’t driven past Traralgon in 12 months.
“Premier Andrews couldn’t be bothered visiting drought-hit Gippsland families and his failure to fund the Princes Highway duplication demonstrates he couldn’t care less about road safety, improved productivity or boosting the visitor economy of Gippsland.”
Mr Chester said Gippslanders had run out of patience and couldn’t afford to wait for the ‘due course’ to get work started on the final two stages.
“I’m going to continue my push to have the entire $132 million in Federal funding allocated to the most dangerous section at the Kilmany overpass and get work moving again,” Mr Chester said.
“We can’t wait for Premier Andrews to find Gippsland on a map. I will be urging the Federal Government to release all its funding for the Kilmany project and at least get one stage completed as soon as possible.”