$362 million to extend Princes Highway duplication

A $362 million joint Victorian and federal commitment will construct a 35-kilometre section of duplicated highway between Colac and Winchelsea.

A $362 million joint Victorian and federal commitment will construct a 35-kilometre section of duplicated highway between Colac and Winchelsea.

PROPOSED duplication of the Princes Highway between Winchelsea and Colac will be given the green light tonight in Victoria’s state budget.

Premier and South West Coast MP Denis Napthine yesterday confirmed a $362 million joint Victorian and federal commitment to construct the 35-kilometre section, starting next year.

The specific allocations will be revealed by Treasurer Michael O’Brien this evening and federal Treasurer Joe Hockey next Tuesday.

Subject to planning approvals, construction is expected to start in 2015 and take about four years to complete.

It will join the 23km section being constructed between Waurn Ponds and Winchelsea,  costing $220m and scheduled for completion by early next year.

A special panel hearing will be held next week at Winchelsea Community Reserve from Monday to Wednesday to hear submissions on proposed amendments to the Colac Otway and Surf Coast municipal planning schemes to incorporate a new route for the extra highway lanes to Colac.

Almost 40 submissions were received, ranging from issues over property access to the land acquisition process.

“Subject to the panel’s recommendations, the amendments will be referred to the Planning Minister for approval,” VicRoads project director Tony Hedley said.

The state and federal governments have already allocated $12m for the planning work and upgrading the Hesse Street intersection in Winchelsea.

“It is vital we extend the dual highway through to Colac so the strategic link is efficient and, more importantly, safe,” Dr Napthine said.

Earlier estimates put the Winchelsea to Colac section at $515m, but the figure was subsequently revised.

Premier and South West Coast MP Denis Napthine yesterday confirmed a $362 million joint Victorian and federal commitment to construct the 35-kilometre section, starting next year.

The specific allocations will be revealed by Treasurer Michael O’Brien this evening and federal Treasurer Joe Hockey next Tuesday.

Subject to planning approvals, construction is expected to start in 2015 and take about four years to complete.

It will join the 23km section being constructed between Waurn Ponds and Winchelsea,  costing $220m and scheduled for completion by early next year.

A special panel hearing will be held next week at Winchelsea Community Reserve from Monday to Wednesday to hear submissions on proposed amendments to the Colac Otway and Surf Coast municipal planning schemes to incorporate a new route for the extra highway lanes to Colac.

Almost 40 submissions were received, ranging from issues over property access to the land acquisition process.

“Subject to the panel’s recommendations, the amendments will be referred to the Planning Minister for approval,” VicRoads project director Tony Hedley said.

The state and federal governments have already allocated $12m for the planning work and upgrading the Hesse Street intersection in Winchelsea.

“It is vital we extend the dual highway through to Colac so the strategic link is efficient and, more importantly, safe,” Dr Napthine said.

Earlier estimates put the Winchelsea to Colac section at $515m, but the figure was subsequently revised.

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