Work is starting on sealing of the unsealed sections of the Omeo Highway, delivering on another election commitment, says Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“It is one of only four routes between the North East and Gippsland and the sealing of the unsealed sections will not only serve the general public, but also provide support to industries, including timber and tourism.
“Providing a safe bitumen surface will also mean that the road will be more accessible and safer in wet weather and snowy conditions,” Mr Bull said.
The Victorian Government has committed $8 million to sealing the unsealed sections of the Omeo Highway. At this stage to seal all the unsealed sections of the Highway more funding will be required. A submission has been forwarded with the extra costing needed.
Transport Minister, Terry Mulder, said “sealing the unsealed sections will boost tourism and local industry by creating a safer and more convenient route for road users, and providing a safe bitumen surface ensures that the road will be more accessible in certain conditions.
“Approximately 28 kilometres of the Omeo Highway remain unsealed in two separate sections. The Government has committed $8 million to commence work on the first unsealed section approximately 10 kilometres south of Mitta Mitta. The second section to be sealed is located 40 kilometres south of Mitta Mitta.”
Mr Mulder said VicRoads had worked closely with the Department of Sustainability and Environment and other stakeholders to ensure environmental and cultural values were protected throughout the works.
“Works will be limited to the road reserve and won’t impact on undisturbed ecological areas. Sealing these gravel sections of the highway will reduce the impact of dust and silting of watercourses, which can adversely affect fish and frog habitats.
“VicRoads has conducted cultural and environmental assessments to ensure that all sensitive areas within the vicinity of the Highway that could be affected have been identified and processes established to address any potential issues,” Mr Mulder said.
Federal Member for Gippsland and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport Darren Chester said he was pleased the project, which would improve safety for local residents and visitors, was underway.
"Given the current condition of the road and a lack of maintenance, there are safety concerns for drivers, particularly during adverse weather conditions," Mr Chester said.
"I'm pleased that the Victorian Coalition Government started the works to improve road safety for local residents and visitors venturing to and from the high country."