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Road delays blasted

Road delays blasted

State government spruiks roadworks while Chester blasts delays

The State Government says it has wrapped-up a successful road maintenance season in Gippsland.

They say 374 kilometres of work has been completed, among them some important freight and travel routes including Princes Highway East, South Gippsland Highway and the Monaro Highway.

The government said the total completed was 92 kilometres more than pre-season estimates.

However, Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said State and Federal Government bureaucrats are failing to do their jobs regarding roads.

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Mr Chester said tens of millions of dollars in Federal Government funding had been allocated to the region but a failure to fast track the design process meant roadworks didn’t start until several months after the announcements.

“In some cases, like the Princes Highway duplication and major upgrades all the way to the NSW border, the bureaucrats in Canberra and Melbourne haven’t even designed and approved projects more than two years after the Federal Government announced funding,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that costs lives but no one will accept responsibility. The Canberra public servants blame the State Government bureaucracy and in the meantime, Gippslanders don’t get the road upgrades they deserve.

“We need to develop a greater sense of urgency and a commitment to get projects underway on the ground in a more timely fashion to save lives, create jobs and boost the economy.”

Mr Chester said all Federal Government infrastructure funds should have strict timelines to force the State Government bureaucrats to do their jobs.

Mr Chester believes the problem rests with the State Government refusing to provide the resources required to get work underway in Gippsland.

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