Press Releases

Road safety boost for South Gippsland and Bass Highways

* * - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • $6.1 million contract for road safety improvement works in South Gippsland 
  • Reducing the risk and severity of ‘run-off-road’ crashes 
  • Coalition Government building better roads to improve safety for Victorians

Safety improvement works along sections of both the South Gippsland and Bass Highways are scheduled to commence next month following the awarding of a $6.1 million contract to QR Construction Pty Ltd, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder announced today.

Mr Mulder said significant safety improvement works will be undertaken along the 14 kilometre section of the South Gippsland Highway between Lang Lang and Bass River and the 9.5 kilometre section of Bass Highway between Lang Lang and The Gurdies.

Over the past five years there have been 31 accidents on these sections of highway in which people have been injured and of those 21 involved vehicles running off the road.

“The works that have been commissioned by the Coalition Government along these sections of highway, aim to reduce the risk and severity of incidents involving ‘run-off-road’ crashes,” Mr Mulder said.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said more than 40 kilometres of wire rope safety barriers would be installed along these sections of highway to ensure run-off-road vehicles are protected from potential roadside hazards.

“This installation of wire rope safety barriers is part of the ‘safe system’ approach which ensures run-off-road vehicles are better protected from potential roadside hazards,” Mr Ryan said.

“Works will also include the removal of other roadside hazards, such as trees, as well as widening and sealing sections of road shoulder where safety barriers are being installed.

“Upgrades to rumble strips and centrelines will also help alert drivers if they stray from their lanes, and reflective pavement markers and warning signs will also be upgraded to assist drivers negotiate bends in the road.

“This important safety project is being carried out in addition to rehabilitation and resealing works which are currently underway across South Gippsland, which are being funded though the Victorian Coalition Government’s separate $170 million boost for road maintenance.”

Mr Mulder said the road safety upgrades are being funded through the Safer Road Infrastructure Program (SRIP), which is aimed specifically at risk reduction for road users through vital safety improvements, such as installation of wire-rope barriers, shoulder sealing, improved road signage and the removal of roadside hazards.

“The funding for this project is the centrepiece of Victoria’s new Road Safety Strategy 2013-22 and Action Plan 2013-16, which includes a new and stronger focus on measuring and reducing serious injuries,” Mr Mulder said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has significantly boosted the Safer Road Infrastructure Program (SRIP) funding to $1 billion over 10 years. This represents an increase of more than 30 per cent a year.

“We’ve had successive, record low road tolls in Victoria and we need to keep working hard to ensure that we stay a world leader in road safety.”

For further information on Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy visit www.roadsafety.vic.gov.au 

Ryan launches Gippsland Freight Master Plan

* * - Friday, January 31, 2014

 

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.” 

Road repairs for key South Gippsland roads

* * - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 

More than $1 million will be spent rebuilding and upgrading sections of the Fish Creek-Foster Road as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $170 million Repair and Restore package.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said significant road surface upgrades on the Fish Creek-Foster Road, near O’Grady’s Ridge Road, would begin next month.

“The Coalition Government will invest $1.27 million to complete this much needed work, with the project expected to take approximately one month to complete,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government, through its $170 million Repair and Restore package, had also invested $670,000 for restoration works on the Foster-Promontory Road, which began late last year.

“VicRoads crews have removed a 1.32 kilometre section of the Foster-Promontory Road, just before the intersection with Meeniyan-Promontory Road, completely rebuilding the road to make it much stronger, more skid resistant and waterproof,” Mr Ryan said

“All that remains are some minor finishing works, which will be carried out over the coming weeks.”

Mr Ryan said that while the road rehabilitation works would cause delays for motorists, it was important that the work was carried out during the summer months when conditions were most suitable.

“Motorists can expect to see plenty of road works occurring over the coming months as the road construction season ramps up to coincide with the warm and dry weather,” Mr Ryan said.

“Around the South Gippsland area, significant repair works will be carried out on a number of roads, including eight separate sites on the South Gippsland Highway, Waratah Road, Barry Road, Meeniyan-Promontory Road and Buffalo-Tarwin Lower Road.

“Motorists should note that traffic controls will be in place to help minimise traffic disruptions and to factor in an additional 10 minutes of travel time.

“I thank motorists for their patience while these important works are undertaken, and remind them to observe the reduced speed limits for their own safety and the safety of workers.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s $170 million Repair and Restore package, which is in addition existing road maintenance funding, was helping VicRoads to develop a comprehensive program of works to be rolled out across the state.

Hyland Highway overtaking lane takes shape

* * - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

 

Motorists on the Hyland Highway will have more opportunities for safer overtaking with works starting to construct a 1.3 kilometre, $4.66 million overtaking lane that will be complete by mid-year.

Acting Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today announced that the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to provide more overtaking opportunities on the busy key route was starting to take shape.

“We know this project is something that the Yarram community in particular has long been pushing for and we’re pleased to see that construction has started, with the removal of trees now underway,” M Ryan said.

“This key road carries 1,400 vehicles each day, many of which are trucks carting produce from our local industries.

“It is also a very popular road over summer with many tourists making their way to the region’s beaches and waterways, often towing boats and caravans.

“Getting caught behind these slower vehicles can frustrate some drivers, as there’s currently limited overtaking opportunities along this winding, hilly road.”

Mr Ryan said the new 1.3km overtaking lane near Carrajung South would be built between Lays Road and Campbells Road.

“This site was specifically chosen because it is in the middle of a tight section of winding hills where there is limited sight distance,” Mr Ryan said.

“It will allow Traralgon bound vehicles to be able to overtake slower vehicles.”

Mr Ryan urged road users travelling through the project site to slow down and allow extra travel time in coming months, as many temporary conditions will be in place including lane closures and reduced speed limits.

“Crews will be concentrating on tree removal works in coming weeks, which cause delays at times to allow large trees to be safely felled,” Mr Ryan said.

The Victorian Coalition Government will spend $340 million on regional roads initiatives this year compared to just $125 million that Labor has outlined in its transport plan.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870 stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au  

Victoria records lowest road toll in 90 years

* * - Monday, January 06, 2014

 

Acting Premier Peter Ryan, along with Minister for Roads Terry Mulder and Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips, today welcomed news of a record low Victorian road toll of 242, some 40 less than last year.

“Victoria has just recorded its lowest road toll in almost 90 years,” Mr Ryan said.

“We haven’t seen a road toll this low since 1924, when 224 people were killed on our roads.

“We are proud of the work done so far and proud that the community and all road users have joined with police and all arms of government in a real team effort to reduce tragedies on our roads.

“However, there is still a long way to go. Most road deaths are not ‘accidents’ as such, but the result of poor choices, including choices to speed, or drive under the influence of alcohol.

“Everyone in the community needs to deeply consider the choices they make.

“There are towns in my electorate of South Gippsland with populations of fewer than 242 and to think of this many people dying on our roads every year is tragic.

“We have come a long way in saving lives, but we will not rest until the road toll is zero.”

Mr Ryan said the state’s road safety strategies, including the introduction of the Graduated Licensing System and the Safer Road Infrastructure Program, had helped save lives.

“The Victorian Coalition Government Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan, unveiled in March, included some bold new initiatives to build on these gains,” Mr Ryan said.

“We asked Victorians to tell us what they thought would help save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.

“Victorians called for more enforcement, a stronger approach to those doing the wrong thing and more education, and we’ve listened.”

Mr Ryan said 2013 saw the Coalition Government announce increased measures to stop drink driving; compulsory increased penalties for using a mobile phone while driving, the release the Road Mode mobile phone app and the start of education programs for reckless drivers to supplement tough hoon penalties.

Mr Mulder said the road safety partners, including Victoria Police, the TAC, VicRoads and the Department of Justice, have created new road safety campaigns and public education programs targeting road safety issues.

“This year we saw Victoria’s first ever distractions campaign and we worked with motorcyclists on a campaign to help them achieve the perfect ride,” Mr Mulder said.

“While it has been great to see the reductions in fatalities this year we know that we are only ever one bad week or one bad month away from losing those gains.

“We need to continue to work together to come up with new initiatives and strategies to help us achieve our vision of zero deaths and serious injuries.”

Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said while it is encouraging to see the reduction in road fatalities there is still work to be done to reduce serious injuries on our roads.

“The last 12 months have seen a reduction in fatalities but we have not seen the same reduction in serious injury collisions,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“We have a number of initiatives underway in 2014 to reduce serious injuries including the Enhanced Crash Investigation Study with the Monash University Accident Research Centre which will be unveiled in February.

“The TAC has also committed $1 billion under the Safer Road Infrastructure Program over the next decade to make Victoria’s most dangerous roads safer for all road users, a vital element of the Safe System approach.

“The release of the Parliamentary Road Safety Committee inquiry into serious injury later this year will give us a better understanding of what we can do to reduce life changing injuries.”

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122 les.white@minstaff.vic.gov.au

New pipes laid on damaged Fish Creek-Foster Road

* * - Friday, November 29, 2013
More than 25 meters of new concrete pipes have been laid along Fish Creek-Foster Road in preparation of the road re-opening next month.

Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan inspected the washed out section of the road last week and said the Victorian Coalition Government was working with VicRoads to ensure the damage was repaired as quickly as possible.

“Over the past week, the contractor has excavated down nine metres and dug out more than 300 truckloads of earth from the site,” Mr Ryan said.

“New concrete pipes to replace the damaged pipes have been delivered to the site and will be installed within coming days.

“The contractor will start reconstructing the embankment from the first week of December.”

Mr Ryan said the scale of the damage to the road was significant, however VicRoads and contractors were working seven days a week to repair the damaged section.

“Traffic will continue to be diverted along Meeniyan-Promontory Road and Foster-Promontory Road (C446) until the road re-opens,” Mr Ryan said.

“These works are expected to be completed and the road re-opened to traffic around mid-December.”

Mr Ryan urged motorists to take care when travelling on roads that they were unfamiliar with.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870 stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au  

South Gippsland receives $1 million boost from Country Roads and Bridges Fund

* * - Friday, November 22, 2013

 

The Victorian Coalition Government will provide the South Gippsland Shire Council with a further $1 million to fix local roads and bridges, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today.


Mr Ryan was in South Gippsland today to inspect the damage to local roads following the recent significant rainfall event.

Mr Ryan inspected the washed out section of the Foster-Fish Creek Road.

“Last week more than 120mm of rain fell over parts of South Gippsland in little more than two days, which is more than the entire November rain average of 78.5mm, causing significant damage to the region’s roads.

“The scale of the damage to the Foster-Fish Creek Road is quite significant, however VicRoads and contractors are currently on site working seven days a week until the road is repaired.

“The Coalition Government will continue to work with VicRoads to ensure damaged roads across the region are repaired as quickly as possible, however I urge motorists to proceed with caution when driving on damaged roads.”

Mr Ryan said today’s funding announcement of $1 million for the South Gippsland Shire Council would be provided through the Coalition Government’s Country Roads and Bridges Fund.

“The four year Country Roads and Bridges Fund, now in its third year, provides up to $1 million per year to 40 rural councils, including the South Gippsland Shire Council. “This is a total of $160 million of additional funds to improve the condition of shire managed roads and bridges, and can be used for maintenance and the restoration of existing road or bridge infrastructure in the region.”

Mr Ryan said the funds would be used to carry out the following works:

  • Mount Eccles Road near Mount Eccles- sealed road rehabilitation $214,349;
  •  Summers Road near Fish Creek- bridge rehabilitation $102,248;
  • Goads Road near Dumbalk North- bridge rehabilitation $471,912; and
  • Agnes River Road near Toora- bridge rehabilitation $211,491.

South Gippsland Shire Councillor Kieran Kennedy welcomed the $1 million funding boost.

“The weather conditions of the past few years have created a huge maintenance impost on both local and state government and we appreciate all funding that can assist us to maintain the 2,000 kilometre network of roads managed by the council,” Cr Kennedy said.

Mr Ryan said in addition to the $1 million boost for shire roads and bridges, the Coalition Government had boosted the road maintenance budget by $45 million in October 2012 and then by a further $170 million over three years in May 2013.

"Under the previous Labor Government, underlying issues with the condition of Victorian roads were not exposed due to the lack of rain during nearly a decade of drought,” Mr Ryan said.

"The facts are: we will spend $466 million on road maintenance in 2013-14, which is $83 million more than Labor's last budget for road maintenance, which was $383 million in 2010-11.

"By carrying out a targeted road restoration program, in addition to comprehensive pavement resurfacing, we will ensure the life of these roads is extended for decades to come.

"$4.33 million has already been announced this year to repair and restore South Gippsland roads around Foster, Buffalo, Fish Creek and Middle Tarwin.

“A further $5.4 million will be spent on road safety improvements over a 14 km stretch of the South Gippsland Highway from Lang Lang to Loch. These works will be carried out between November 2013 and April 2014."

Mr Ryan said VicRoads had currently programmed more than $6 million worth of immediate repair and restoration works in the South Gippsland region over the coming months, including pavement strengthening works, rehabilitation and asphalt works, as well as road resurfacing works.

Mr Ryan said pavement strengthening works including rehabilitation and asphalt works programed to be carried out by VicRoads included:

  •  Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road at Bena-Kongwak Road roundabout – scheduled to begin December;
  • Waratah Road near Fish Creek – scheduled to begin December;
  • Meeniyan-Promontory Road at Buffalo – scheduled to begin December;
  • Foster-Promontory Road from Foster to Fish Creek – commenced November;
  • Buffalo-Tarwin Lower Road at Middle Tarwin – scheduled to begin December;
  • Fish Creek-Foster Road near Grady’s Bridge Road Foster – scheduled to begin February; and
  • Barry Road at Agnes – scheduled to begin February.

Mr Ryan said road resurfacing works programmed to be carried out by VicRoads included:

  • Barry Road at Agnes – scheduled to begin February;
  • Drouin-Korumburra Road, three sites between Poowong North and Ranceby– scheduled to begin December;
  • Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road at Korumburra – scheduled to begin January;
  • Lang Lang-Poowong Road between Nyora and Poowong – scheduled to begin January;
  • Meeniyan-Promontory Road between Buffalo and Fish Creek – scheduled to begin February;
  • Nerrena Road near Nerrena – scheduled to begin January;
  • South Gippsland Highway, seven sites between Nyora and Toora – scheduled to begin January;
  • Strzelecki Highway, five sites Delburn and Leongatha – scheduled to begin January; and
  • Wilsons Promontory Road near Darby River – scheduled to begin February.

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731 ben.bulmer@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Nambrok Road intersection works to begin this year

* * - Friday, October 04, 2013

 
Work will begin before the end of this year to construct the Nambrok Road section of the $175 million Traralgon to Sale Princes Highway Duplication project, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan said stage four of the Princes Highway Duplication project would include the construction of two 2.8-kilometre lanes in each direction, an upgrade to the Nambrok Road intersection with separate turning lanes and the instillation of safety barriers.

“The Nambrok Road intersection has had a poor crash history, however stage four will vastly improve road geometry and visibility and allow for the safer movement of traffic in this area,” Mr Ryan said.

“Stage four will be complete by mid-2015 and will contribute to improved safety for road users, enhanced freight efficiency between Melbourne and Sale and provide significant benefits to the local community and tourists.

“It will also assist key Gippsland industries including coal, dairy, timber, paper and oil and gas production to transport their commodities.”

Hazell Bros Pty Ltd was awarded the contract after tenders for the design and construction works were advertised in April.

“Extending waterway crossings and rehabilitating the existing highway road pavement will also occur during this stage of the project,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said changed traffic conditions could be expected during construction of the project.

“For the safety of highway users, reduced speed limits will apply through active work zones and I ask motorists to be considerate of those reductions,” Mr Ryan said.

“Trucks will be entering and leaving sites adjacent to the highway during these times and drivers should take care, watch for construction traffic and observe all signs and directions from traffic controllers.”

Those seeking updates on the progress of the project can visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/nambrok or phone 5172 2328.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870 stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au

Koo Wee Rup Bypass tender winner announced

* * - Thursday, September 26, 2013
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan has announced the firm that will construct the $66 million Koo Wee Rup bypass.

“The AbiGroup is the successful company and the people of Koo Wee Rup will no doubt look forward to them getting to work as soon as practicably possible,” Mr Ryan said.

“AbiGroup will now develop the design and undertake other preparatory work prior to commencing construction later this year.”

Mr Ryan has toured the site of what will be the new bypass, and is proud that the Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitment to get the trucks out of Koo Wee Rup’s main street.

“The new 3.4 kilometre two-lane arterial road connecting Koo Wee Rup Road and the South Gippsland Highway will send trucks around the town, rather than through it,” Mr Ryan said.

“The bypass will improve safety and help reduce the impacts of traffic, and particularly the impacts of trucks travelling through the Koo Wee Rup town centre.

“The bypass will help revitalise Koo Wee Rup by redirecting around 6,000 vehicles, including about 900 trucks, away from the township each day.

Bass MP Ken Smith said the bypass would improve air quality and reduce traffic noise in the town’s main street, creating a more pleasant environment for local people and visitors.

“Importantly, it will help reduce delays during holiday periods when traffic increases significantly as people head toward Victoria’s South East and to Phillip Island,” Mr Smith said.

“Works on the new two-lane road will include constructing roundabouts at Manks Road, Rossiter Road and at the South Gippsland Highway.

“The new roundabout at Manks Road will also include new road links to enter the township.”

Construction of the Koo Wee Rup Bypass is expected to start in late 2013 and is due to be completed by late 2015.

Planning complete to make Leongatha town centre truck-free

* * - Friday, August 30, 2013
Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said a future heavy vehicle bypass of Leongatha’s busy Bair Street was a step closer with the completion of a detailed planning study.

Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government provided VicRoads with $270,000 in December 2011 to complete a detailed planning study for an alternate heavy vehicle route, following requests from the South Gippsland Shire Council and community groups.

“VicRoads has now completed this study and earmarked a selected route, which runs along Anderson Street (South Gippsland Highway), Roughead Street (Strzelecki Highway), Long Street, and back on to the South Gippsland Highway,” Mr Ryan said.

“With the alternate heavy vehicle route for Leongatha now selected, future development and growth in Leongatha can now proceed with greater certainty.

“It will enable the South Gippsland Shire Council to plan for changes to parking and landscaping along Bair Street, providing improved amenity and shopping conditions for both the local community and tourists.”

Mr Ryan said VicRoads had considered a number of options and alignments during this planning project, and had taken into consideration safety, environmental constraints, heritage, land acquisition, traffic engineering requirements and social impacts.

“The chosen alignment uses existing roads and provides the best solution in terms of cost, time and safety,” Mr Ryan said.

“It also means there will be minimal impact on adjoining properties, and by using the existing road network, it would not require a Planning Scheme Amendment to proceed.”

Mr Ryan said developing plans for an alternate heavy vehicle route for Leongatha was an important and much needed project, with up to 1,000 heavy vehicles passing through the Leongatha shopping strip along the South Gippsland Highway each day.

“Leongatha is one of the region’s most vibrant communities and the provision of a heavy vehicle alternative route is a priority for the future development of the town,” Mr Ryan said.

Media contact: Stephanie Nicholls 0437 108 870 stephanie.nicholls@parliament.vic.gov.au.

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