Govts to set priorities for Princes Highway

WORK has begun on a plan to prioritise infrastructure spending along the length of the Princes Highway from Sydney to Adelaide via Gippsland.

Gippsland MHR Darren Chester said the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy would develop a single coordinated view of infrastructure investment needs for the highway.

As the federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, late last year Mr Chester announced $5 million for the development of the 10-year program of works to prioritise short, medium and long-term projects along the highway, which stretches nearly 2000 kilometres.

“The Princes Highway corridor passes through three states — New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia — from Sydney to Port Augusta,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s a vital connection for many people who rely on it for access to jobs and other opportunities.

“The Princes Highway is also one of our country’s major freight and tourism routes.

“The highway traverses some of the most scenic coastal and rural landscapes in our nation, and we need to keep working to boost our visitor economy and create more local jobs.

“In this year’s federal budget, $132 million was set aside to spend on the final stages of the duplication of the highway between Traralgon and Sale.

“There’s also $25 million from the federal government being spent now on safety upgrades east of Sale.

“The government’s ongoing investment in the highway in Gippsland is significant.

“Securing the money needed to finish the duplication was one of my highest priorities for Gippsland.”

The federal government will consult with the Victorian, South Australian and New South Wales state governments to develop the strategy.

Mr Chester said Gippslanders would get an opportunity to provide their input later this year.

“It’s important local motorists, particularly those who use the highway as part of their day-to-day lives, take the time to provide feedback during the public consultation period,” he said.

“This strategy will impact on future government investment, so it needs to recognise which sections are the community priorities.”