The Federal Labor Government’s infrastructure review is compromising the safety of road users in Horsham and Stawell, Federal Member for Mallee Anne Webster says.
The Coalition budgeted $4 million in 2021-2022 for the Horsham Roundabout, as well as $360 million in 2019 for the duplication of the Western Highway between Ararat and Stawell, but these projects are now under Labor’s 90 day infrastructure review, which is due to finish next month.
The Horsham roundabout is a well known and dangerous intersection merging the Henty Highway, Western Highway and Golf Course Road in Horsham.
Meanwhile the duplication of the Western Highway between Ararat and Stawell is the third stage in a larger project providing dual lanes all the way to Ballarat, also under review by federal Labor.
“The Horsham Roundabout work was funded by the Coalition, but it is the Andrews Labor Government who has failed to deliver it and now Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King has her eyes on scrapping it altogether,” Dr Webster said.
“Both Federal and State Labor had their hand in delaying funding for the Western Highway works, and it has been revealed in Senate Estimates that Labor has delayed $3.1 million to install traffic lights at the Seaby Street and Western Highway intersection in Stawell as well.
“Community members and local Mayors alike have continuously raised the delays on the Western Highway with me, as well as the challenges of heavy traffic through both Horsham and Stawell – these projects seek to help alleviate those issues and improve safety and access, but Labor have dragged their feet and now may consign them to the scrapheap.”
On top of these projects, Labor’s infrastructure review casts doubt over $19.5 million of unallocated funding and $170 million in additional funding for the Road Safety Program in Victoria, which targets the fast roll out of lifesaving road safety treatments on rural and regional roads.
“As of this week there have been 147 lives lost on Victorian roads in 2023, these tragedies can be avoided with safer roads” Dr Webster said.
“It beggars belief why Labor would want to delay making our regional and rural roads safe.”
Other committed projects under the Infrastructure Investment Program for Mallee subject to Labor’s review are:
- $60 million for the Swan Hill Bridge
- $41.4 million in future funding for the Green Triangle, incorporating the Henty Highway (Labor already reduced funding for this project in its October budget)
- $26.2 million in future funding for the Calder Highway from Melbourne to Mildura (Labor already reduced funding for this project in its October budget)
- $25.4 million in future funding for the Sunraysia Highway between Ballarat and Ouyen (Labor already reduced funding for this project in its October budget)
- $23.1 million in future funding for the Western Highway between Stawell and the SA border (Labor already reduced funding for this project in its October budget)
- $8.8 million in future Funding for the Murray Valley Highway between Robinvale and Echuca (Labor already reduced funding for this project in its October budget)