Pri­or­ity list set for Baw Baw roads

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - LOCAL LIVING -

A $57.7 mil­lion pack­age of road net­work projects has been iden­ti­fied in a re­port re­leased by the Gipp­s­land Re­gional Road Group.

Baw Baw Shire has en­dorsed the re­port which out­lines di­verse road net­work projects across the re­gion and iden­ti­fies projects as medium to high pri­or­ity.

The high­est pri­or­ity project for Baw Baw Shire is $3 mil­lion to widen, sta­bilise shoul­ders and seal gravel sec­tions of Yar­ragon Leon­gatha Rd; and con­struc­tion of Rollo St, Yar­ragon.

These works sit at num­ber three in the re­gional pri­or­ity list.

The top pri­or­ity project for the re­gion is up­grad­ing the Sale al­ter­nate truck route.

Other medium pri­or­ity projects iden­ti­fied in Baw Baw Shire in­clude:

Jack­son’s Track – widen seal, curve im­prove­ments and tree re­moval ($1.3 mil­lion);

Main South Rd – widen, sta­bilise and seal seven kilo­me­tres of road ($1.5 mil­lion);

Old Sale Rd – widen, sta­bilise and seal road ($4 mil­lion);

O’Briens Rd – widen, sta­bilise and seal ($900,000); and,

Jin­di­vick-Neerim South Rd – widen, sta­bilise and seal ($1.2 mil­lion).

The re­port has been en­dorsed by the Gipp­s­land Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Net­work which is made up of six mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in­clud­ing Baw Baw Shire.

GRRG was es­tab­lished three years ago to work with the Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion of Vic­to­ria to iden­tify re­gional road project pri­or­i­ties.

A re­port to coun­cil said in the past, in­di­vid­ual mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were con­cerned prin­ci­pally with road move­ments within their lo­cal gov­ern­ment bound­aries.

GRRG was formed to con­sider the road net­work across Gipp­s­land as a whole, iden­ti­fy­ing re­gional is­sues that im­pact on ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive freight move­ments from within and through the re­gion.

A work­ing group es­tab­lished the pri­or­ity list af­ter map­ping key in­dus­tries to des­ti­na­tions; iden­ti­fy­ing re­gional and lo­cal strate­gic routes; iden­ti­fy­ing con­straints im­pact­ing freight move­ments across the re­gion; and as­sess­ing key projects put for­ward by coun­cils.

“As a re­sult, the list of nom­i­nated projects has un­der­gone a ro­bust as­sess­ment with col­lec­tive agree­ment across the group on the projects nom­i­nated,” the re­port said.

The re­port iden­ti­fies a suite of projects across the shire that are in­vest­ment ready sub­ject to fund­ing in fu­ture coun­cil bud­gets.

Of­fi­cers said coun­cil could now pur­sue gov­ern­ment fund­ing for projects iden­ti­fied in the re­port, ei­ther as an in­di­vid­ual coun­cil or as a re­gion.

Cr Keith Cook said the re­port iden­ti­fied a num­ber of re­gional routes.

He said es­tab­lish­ing these pri­or­i­ties meant peo­ple in Gipp­s­land would ben­e­fit from im­proved road con­struc­tion and a bet­ter road net­work.

He said iden­ti­fy­ing pri­or­i­ties meant money would be spent where it was most needed.

Cr Cook said the re­port also would as­sist Gipp­s­land coun­cils in ad­vo­cat­ing for state and fed­eral funds.

Cr Michael Leaney said there was a very strong mes­sage com­ing from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment that Gipp­s­land coun­cils had to fo­cus on re­gional projects.

He said the re­gion was lucky to have Mem­ber for Gipp­s­land Dar­ren Ch­ester as Roads and Trans­port Min­is­ter.

“He has said if we want to be se­ri­ous about get­ting some­where with our road pri­or­i­ties then we have to work to­gether as a re­gion.

“That’s what this re­port does. It’s a good plan and it’s very im­por­tant.

“It gives us a much stronger voice when we go to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and need money,” Cr Leaney said.

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