Polwarth MP Richard Riordan will support an increased speed limit on Princes Highway west if the road meets necessary safety standards.
Mr Riordan said increasing the 100 kilometres an hour speed zone between Colac and Geelong to 110kmh once the duplication was complete was a possibility.
Mr Riordan’s comments are in light of the Liberal-Nationals “common sense” approach to reinstate 110kmh speed limits under a Liberal-National State Government.
Opposition roads and infrastructure spokesman David Hodgett said the proposed increased speed limit would stretch between Werribee and Corio.
He said that according to the Australian Road Assessment Program, the Werribee to Corio freeway was among the top 10 safest sections of highway in Australia.
Mr Riordan said he could see “no reason why we couldn’t work to 110kmh” on the Princes Highway west but admitted he wasn’t “over the facts”.
“Having gone over to the Latrobe Valley where they have 110kmh, it didn’t seem vastly different,” he said.
“Subject to the standards that are set, if Princes Highway west, once it’s been renovated meets those standards I think we should also push for 110kmh to Colac.”
Mr Riordan said an increase in the speed limit would make the highway on par with other Victorian freeways including the Hume Highway, and could benefit the region by allowing quicker travel between cities, resulting in regional growth.
He said the faster travel times between Colac and Victoria’s capital city would attract more people to the city of Colac.
The Victorian Government announced in 1989 that it would reduce road speed limits from 110 kilometres an hour to 100kmh as part of a campaign to cut the road toll.
The Monash University Accident Research Centre says road fatalities fell from 776 in 1989 to 378 in 1994 and the research centre associated lowering the 110kmh freeway speed limit as part of the fatality reduction.
Victoria’s road toll sits at 31, which is a 10.7-per-cent increase on last year and RoadSafe Otway’s Cliff McAliece said he was concerned an increase in speed would increase road trauma and speeding.
“If they take it to 110kmh, are people then going to push it to 115?” he said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.