The Gippsland Freight Infrastructure Master Plan, which supports jobs growth and investment in Gippsland’s transport and freight industry, was launched today by Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan.
Speaking at Dyers Transport in Sale, Mr Ryan said the Master Plan provided an in depth look at the transport and freight challenges and opportunities in Gippsland.
“The Master Plan has been developed as a key component of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Latrobe Valley Industry and Employment Roadmap, launched in 2012,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Roadmap, designed to create new jobs and stimulate investment in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland, highlights the need to develop an ‘infrastructure vision’ for the region.
“The Gippsland Freight Infrastructure Master Plan supports this ‘infrastructure vision’ and identifies additional funding for local road projects as a key priority for the development of the transport and freight industries locally.
“This includes upgrades to the South Gippsland Highway, as well as funding for the Leongatha Heavy Vehicle Route, Traralgon truck bypass, Sand Road Interchange, Drouin to Drouin South B-double access and Korumburra heavy vehicle route.”
Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government recognised the challenge of maintaining and upgrading Gippsland’s road network and was working in partnership with all levels of government to prioritise important regional road projects.
“Earlier this month I joined Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss in Traralgon, where he reaffirmed the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to support the $175 million Princes Highway duplication between Traralgon and Sale,” Mr Ryan said.
“Improving road safety, growing Gippsland’s economic productivity and reducing costs for businesses were the main drivers behind the Commonwealth’s continued support for the project.
“At a state level, the Coalition Government continues to deliver vital roads funding, including an additional $11 million investment for road maintenance in Eastern Victoria over and above existing maintenance funding, as part of our three-year $170 million road maintenance boost.
“This includes more than $6 million in the South Gippsland region for urgent pavement strengthening, rehabilitation, asphalting and road resurfacing works.
“$66 million has been invested to complete the long-awaited Koo Wee Rup Bypass, and in 2012 I opened the final stage of flood-proofing works on the South Gippsland Highway between Sale and Longford, which followed a $56.9 million Victorian Government investment.
“The Coalition Government has also invested almost $9 million for passing lanes on the Strzelecki and Hyland Highways, and partnered with the Commonwealth to fund new passing lanes on the Princes Highway between Nowa Nowa and Orbost as part of an $11 million investment.
“We are supporting local councils to complete much needed road repair and improvement projects through our $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program, which provides each of Victoria’s 48 regional and rural councils with $1 million a year over four years.
“This program has so far delivered an additional $15 million to the Bass, Baw Baw, South Gippsland, East Gippsland and Wellington Shire councils to improve our local road network.”
Mr Ryan said Regional Development Australia Gippsland had provided $100,000 to the Committee for Gippsland to complete the Gippsland Freight Infrastructure Master Plan.
“The Committee for Gippsland, which also contributed funding towards the Master Plan, consulted key industry stakeholders and local government to identify the priorities which are specific to industry from a freight and logistics perspective,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Master Plan will also support the recently announced Gippsland Freight Strategy, which formed a key part of the wider Victoria – the Freight State strategy.
“Victoria – the Freight State strategy outlines the Coalition Government’s long-term plan to improving freight efficiency, to grow productivity and better connect Victorian businesses with the marketplace.”