Roads | March 31, 2023

Kealy calls for commitment to fix western Victorian roads

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of the Nationals Emma Kealy has called on the Andrews Labor Government to commit the large amount of funding necessary to repair roads right across the west of the state in the upcoming budget.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms Kealy specifically called for funding for Petschels Lane in Hamilton where there is now a 450-millimetre drop-off making it extremely dangerous for heavy vehicles travelling along the road.

Other priority roads identified by Ms Kealy included the Birchip-Rainbow Road; the Glenelg Highway between Casterton and Coleraine and east of Glenthompson; the Hamilton Highway between Hamilton and Branxholme and Hamilton and Cavendish; and the rebuild of significant sections of the Western Highway.

“The Western Highway is the major road link between Melbourne and Adelaide, with more than 6000 vehicles – including 1500 trucks – travelling on the highway each day. This number is expected to double in the next three years,” Ms Kealy said.

“Duplication of the Western Highway commenced in 2013 and was supposed to be finished by 2016, but 10 years later we have only 55 kilometres of the 103-km section of highway duplicated, with no work occurring for the past three years.

“During this period there have been 163 crashes on this section of the highway, including 18 fatalities and 90 people seriously injured.

“In the lead up last year’s State Election I was proud to be a part of a Liberal Nationals team that committed to providing $90 million in funding to complete the duplication of the Western Highway between Burrumbeet and Stawell.

“The Minister for Roads has had every opportunity to intervene in the past three years and provide the funding required to get this project moving but has done nothing.

“I have campaigned alongside my constituents for many years for the government to fix the highway and the many other roads in the Lowan electorate that pose a risk to drivers – but Labor is too preoccupied with band aid fixes and multibillion dollar metropolitan projects to address this issue.

“Labor has been in government for nine years and has consistently failed to get the job done.

“All we have ever asked for is our fair share and for our country roads to be made safe. I will not rest until Labor delivers more money for rural and regional road maintenance and a better and safer future for our communities.”

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