Feb 27, 2024 | Latest News, News

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Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has challenged the Federal Government to commit funding to finalise the planning and design for the proposed Traralgon by-pass.

Mr Chester told Federal Parliament the by-pass was the ‘highest priority transport infrastructure project east of Melbourne’ and money should be allocated in this year’s state and federal budgets to accelerate the project.

“With the duplication works between Traralgon and Sale set to conclude, the next major project on the Princes Highway should be the Traralgon by-pass,” Mr Chester said.

“I was able to secure 80% of the funding for the duplication works from the previous Federal Government and we need to keep improving our transport links for the benefit of locals and visitors.

“The by-pass is strongly supported by Latrobe City and Wellington Shire because it offers road safety and productivity benefits to the transport sector.

“I have written to the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King and urged her to commit funding for planning and design to keep the pressure on the State Government which has ultimate responsibility for the highway.

“Local residents, business owners and the broader Gippsland community needed greater certainty around the project which would create jobs in construction, reduce congestion in Traralgon, improve road safety, support the visitor economy and boost productivity.”

Mr Chester said he was working with his State Parliamentary colleagues to gather support for the Traralgon by-pass and would seek feedback from interested locals.

“Member for Morwell Martin Cameron and Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien will be working with me in the coming months as we seek the funding for the planning and design work,” Mr Chester said.

“This project has been spoken about for over 30 years, some work has already been done around potential routes, but it’s come to a standstill because the State Government has over-committed to infrastructure projects in Melbourne.

“Although the State Government owns the road, the majority of the funding for a project of this scope would come from the Federal Government and we need to get some numbers in front of Treasury as soon as possible to progress the by-pass.”

Mr Cameron said the Latrobe Valley community needed to be fully consulted on any plans for the bypass. 

“We will be seeking feedback from local residents and passing that on to all levels of government to ensure any concerns can be managed,” Mr Cameron said.

“Investing in better transport infrastructure is good for our community and we need to get this project moving after decades of delays.

“With Gippsland and Latrobe Valley heavily impacted by transition in the energy sector and cuts to the timber industry, there is a greater reliance on the visitor economy and growth in the agricultural industry which are dependent on the highway. 

“The local transport sector has also indicated significant productivity and safety benefits would flow from a Traralgon by-pass.”


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