Gippsland freight plan

COMMITTEE for Gippsland’s Gippsland Freight Infrastructure Master Plan was launched by Deputy Premier Peter Ryan at Dyers Transport, Sale on Friday to the sound of heavy freight rumbling along the South Gippsland Highway.

Addressing the crowd, Mr Ryan said the plan would support job growth and investment in transport and freight industries, by providing an in-depth look at challenges and opportunities for Gippsland’s transport industry.

In developing the $100,000 plan the Committee for Gippsland consulted with key industry stakeholders and local government to identify industry specific priorities from a freight and logistics perspective.

Regional Development Australia Gippsland provided the Committee for Gippsland with $100,000 to come up with the plan, in addition to funding already contributed by the committee.

The plan was developed to support the recently announced Gippsland Freight Strategy, the master plan is also a key component of the state government’s 2012 Latrobe Valley Industry and Employment Roadmap and wider Freight State strategy to improve freight efficiency.

“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,” Mr Ryan said.

“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.”

Promising to deliver $11 million worth of additional road maintenance funding for eastern Victoria, as part of the government’s three year $170 million road maintenance fund, Mr Ryan said $6 million had been allocated to South Gippsland for pavement strengthening, rehabilitation, asphalting and road resurfacing works, $9 million for passing lanes on the Strezlecki and Hyland Highways and $66 million in the Koo Wee Rup bypass, with $56.9 million put toward flood-proofing the South Gippsland Highway between Sale and Longford in 2012.

“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,” Mr Ryan said.

“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.

In partnership with the federal government the state government has contributed to the $11 million project to put overtaking lanes on the Princes Highway between Nowa Nowa and Orbost.