Black Spur funding hopes rise

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Black Spur funding hopes rise

GIPPSLAND South MLA Danny O’Brien is hopeful the South Gippsland Highway is closer to being realigned at the Black Spur, in the wake of the sale of the Port of Melbourne lease.

Mr O’Brien said the sale would deliver badly needed additional funding for country roads and transport, and result in a state contribution to the Macalister Irrigation District 2030 project.

The Nationals had insisted on at least 10 per cent of the proceeds from the port lease sale being delivered to rural and regional transport infrastructure, meaning a potential windfall of up to $700 million.

Some of that funding could be spent on the $51 million realignment of the Black Spur bends between Koonwarra and Meeniyan – an accident hotspot that is also costing the region’s economy by slowing transport.

“The Black Spur project is one that could certainly be funded under the new Victorian Transport Fund established through the port lease,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor has no excuse on projects like this and it should get on with the business case as quickly as possible and ensure a better, safer road is delivered for South Gippsland.

“It was The Nationals who insisted some of the proceeds from the port sale come back to country Victoria, and we will be keeping the government honest to ensure that country Victoria gets its fair share.”

A spokesperson for the Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan did not respond when asked by The Star if any of the port funding would go towards the Black Spur.
“We promised Victorians the Labor government would lease the Port of Melbourne and put it towards building key infrastructure throughout Victoria, and we are delivering on that commitment,” the spokesperson said.
“As we promised in August, a new $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund will now be established, driving economic growth in our regions, boosting exports and supporting Victorian farmers from paddock to port. 
“This will be part of the Labor Government’s significant commitment to rural and regional Victoria, to support investment in agricultural infrastructure and supply chains.” 

Mr O’Brien said under the government’s original proposal, there was no money earmarked for country infrastructure, with all proceeds to be spent on removing level crossings in Melbourne.

“We stood firm on behalf of country communities and I will expect to see significant investment in Gippsland roads, rail and public transport as a result of this deal,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said roads are the number one issue in his electorate.

“We need to do a lot more to improve our roads to deliver better safety, increased economic efficiency and more ease of travel for local residents,” he said.

Road to future: Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien said the sale of the Port of Melbourne lease would deliver badly needed additional funding for country roads and transport. Mr O’Brien recently inspected progress on these works near Leongatha

Road to future: Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien said the sale of the Port of Melbourne lease would deliver badly needed additional funding for country roads and transport. Mr O’Brien recently inspected progress on these works near Leongatha

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Posted by on Mar 16 2016. 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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