Bonang Highway - still waiting

Bonang Highway - still waiting

The Andrews Labor Government has not committed to matching the $2m in Federal money to seal the remaining unsealed section of the Bonang Highway, and in doing so has called into question its own costing of the work.

In response to a question from Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, Roads Minister, Jaala Pulford, would not commit and cited the state needed to ensure ‘sufficient funds are provided by the Commonwealth’, which he says clearly questions the $4 million costing.

“Embarrassingly, this figure came from her own government and was provided by the former Roads Minister,” Mr Bull said.

“He wrote to Gippsland Federal MP, Darren Chester, and included this figure in his correspondence, which formed the basis of Mr Chester’s commitment.

“So what the Minister is now doing is placing doubt on a costing that her own government came up with, as an excuse to avoid providing the matching funding.

“The Minister’s response also said the funding was ‘subject to negotiations between State and Federal ministers’ and that ‘the Victorian Government looks forward to these discussions to ensure the Commonwealth funding is targeting at the right projects’.”

Mr Bull labelled the answer “bureaucratic gobbledygook” and said the Minister was trying to make something very simple into a complex matter to avoid committing.

“It really is quite simple. The project has been costed at $4 million by her own department and the Federal Government through Darren Chester has committed its share based on this. Nothing more needs to be done other than the state committing its share,” Mr Bull said.

“When this is done a timeframe can be established in consultation with the local stakeholders who use this road.”


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