Council welcomes $270M for arterial roads

Published on 18 November 2020

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After years of advocating for improvements to the region’s road networks, Corangamite Shire Council has welcomed the State Government’s pledge to invest over $270 million into roads across the region.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll announced the funding would be earmarked in the 2020-2021 State Budget to upgrade the Great Ocean Road and its inland routes, as well as key roads which support the dairy industry in the South West Region.

  • Great Ocean Road $140 million
  • North-South Arterial Roads from the Great Ocean Road back to the Princes Highway $115 million
  • Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain roads $17.4 million

Corangamite Shire Mayor Ruth Gstrein said the improvements would make the region’s roads safer for residents and visitors, and more efficient for the growing number of heavy vehicles getting the region’s agricultural output to market.

“This is really terrific news. I’m thrilled,” Cr Gstrein said.

“These road issues have been our top priority for a long time. Council and community members have put a tremendous amount of effort over many years putting forward the case for this kind of investment. It’s all about safety for local users and visitors.

“Some of the arterial roads in our Shire are in terrible condition and these improvements will be a great relief for residents. Widening and rebuilding the roads will make them much safer for school buses, tankers and other heavy vehicles to share with commuter traffic and farm vehicles.”

Cr Gstrein said agriculture and tourism, the two pillars of the Shire’s economy, would both benefit.

“The Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain across the South West contributes a quarter of the nation’s milk production and dairy exports, so this announcement is a real positive on a national and state level as well,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to finding out further details on which roads specifically will be funded when the Budget is released.”

Coastal Ward Councillor Jamie Vogels said he was very pleased to come onto Council at such an exciting time.

“The Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Road are great assets but their popularity has been a double-edged sword. The degradation of the roads has caused a lot of frustration for local residents in terms of safety concerns, damage to vehicles and increased travel times.

“When the COVID crisis is over and tourism picks up again, we can expect more than 2.6 million international and domestic visitors a year. Hundreds of them will use local arterial roads such as Cobden-Port Campbell Road, Princetown Road and Timboon-Colac Road each day to return to Melbourne.

“Widening the roads and geotechnical work to prevent subsidence and landslips will make things much safer for motorists, especially when passing or overtaking.

“This announcement that significant action will be taken in the near future is most welcome. There will be a lot of winners as a result of this funding.

“We look forward to the works commencing.”