The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has slammed the Andrews Labor Government, in particular Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, for failing to provide a funding contribution for Stage 1 of the Shepparton Bypass Project in the 2021-22 State Budget delivered today.
Ms Lovell said the omission by Labor and Ms Allan was ‘unforgivable’ and further proof of the blatant disregard the State Government has for the Shepparton and wider Goulburn Valley communities.
The State Government allocated $10.2 million in the 2017-18 State Budget for an early works package and the finalisation of a business case for the project. This funding included an upgrade of the intersections of Ford Road, Wanganui Road and the GV Highway yet no works have commenced on these intersections and the business case has only just been completed two years late.
When challenged on these delays by Ms Lovell on numerous occasions over the last two years, Ms Allan has used every excuse imaginable to justify her delay in delivering this vital regional project.
The Federal Government committed $208 million to the project in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, yet Ms Allan and Labor still refused to progress the project or provide the State Government’s funding share of 20% of the project’s costs.
Ms Lovell said Labor’s failure to provide funding to commence Stage 1 of the Shepparton Bypass means more heavy vehicles travelling through the Shepparton CBD and less job opportunities for locals.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“This is an extremely disappointing budget for the Shepparton region, highlighted by yet another unforgivable refusal by the Andrews Labor Government to commit funding for Stage 1 of the Shepparton Bypass Project.
“Jacinta Allan has used every excuse under the sun to delay the progression of the Shepparton Bypass including delaying the completion of the business case for the project by over two years.
“Jacinta Allan should stop using this vital project for our community as a political football and get on with releasing the business case and delivering the State’s share of the funding for the project.”
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