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South Gippsland roads revival promised

A COALITION state government would ensure a higher standard of roads in South Gippsland if elected later this year.
Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure David Hodgett told The Star last Thursday roadworks were failing soon after construction and that was not good enough.
He also suggested roads would be maintained at a level superior to the standard local drivers experienced under the previous Coalition state government.
Mr Hodgett said, “We will have some further announcements as we move closer to the election in terms of maintenance of country roads. Clearly we need to look at funding.”
He said blocked drains were causing water to damage adjoining roads and drain maintenance needed to be addressed.
Mr Hodgett travelled the South Gippsland Highway from Toora to Leongatha on Thursday, on board the truck of livestock carrier Stuart Storr, to see firsthand the highway’s rough condition.
Mr Hodgett said, “The real concern is areas that have been improved and they are already worn out. It’s no good spending money on good roads to have them wearing out already.
“You certainly feel it in the truck. On many occasions we were only sitting at 80km/h and you could feel every bump.”
His trip came as the Coalition promised to reinstate its $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program, which would provide approximately $1 million to each council in Victoria for four years for road and bridge works – a commitment welcomed by both local councils.
South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt said, “In a rate capped environment, $1 million will certainly help us in improving our road infrastructure with upgrades and improvements, particularly our aging bridges.”
Felicity Sist, Bass Coast Shire Council’s general manager infrastructure and environment, said, “In Bass Coast, a high growth area with significant importance to state and national visitor economy, having additional funding that we can direct to country roads and bridges would most welcome.
“It was a very successful program in the past that enabled council to deliver many projects that benefitted the community.”
Premier Daniel Andrews axed the Country Roads and Bridges Program in 2014.
Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien said the reinstatement of the program was an exciting announcement for South Gippsland.
“Restoring this program will be a shot in the arm for South Gippsland Shire. It’ll make our communities, like Korumburra, Foster and Leongatha, more liveable and it will support jobs in our region,” he said.

Firsthand experience: from left, Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien with Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure David Hodgett and livestock carrier Stuart Storr in Leongatha last Thursday. Mr Hodgett inspected the rough state of the South Gippsland Highway from Toora to Leongatha, on board Mr Storr’s truck.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24739

Posted by on Apr 24 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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