Priority list set for Baw Baw roads
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.