THE Federal Government has budgeted $24 million for highway upgrades in the Corangamite electorate while other Victorian roads have missed out.
The government will spend $5 million from its 2012-13 budget on detailed planning for the Colac-to-Winchelsea Princes Highway duplication.
The $5 million for the second stage of the project is in addition to a $19 million allocation to complete the duplication between Winchelsea and Geelong.
But the government failed to fund highway projects in other regions in the next financial year’s budget, including the Western Highway west of Ballarat.
Corangamite MP Darren Cheeseman said the Princes Highway duplication funding and next phase of the project through to Colac was “very exciting”.
“We are giving the $5 million to VicRoads to get the detailed planning and engineering underway for the highway from Winchelsea through to Colac,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“We said at the 2010 election that Labor is committed to delivering the duplication right through to Colac and we’re putting real money on the table for detailed plans, despite the cynicism from the Opposition.”
Colac Otway Shire chief Rob Small said he was “particularly delighted” to see money go to the duplication.
“There’s more money for the duplication to Colac assisting, along with state money, for land acquisition where necessary and planning.”
Mr Cheeseman said he agreed the Colac community had “done well from a tight federal budget” with the government also funding other road and rail improvements in the region.
“Labor will spend $522 million on the regional rail link throughout the region in 2012-13,” he said.
“The Colac Otway Shire will also receive $1.2 million under the Roads to Recovery program to upgrade and maintain local roads throughout the region,” Mr Cheeseman said.
Mr Small said the road funding showed shire ratepayers the council did not rely on rates for roads and the council actively lobbied for state and federal government money.
“This money is the result of our work with Australian Rural Roads Group, our work with local politicians and lobbying when we go to Canberra.”