Western Victoria MP James Purcell is calling on Wannon MP Dan Tehan to pressure his Federal Government colleagues to make the dilapidated and dangerous Princes Highway west a road of national significance.
The Standard has obtained a letter from the state government roads minister Luke Donellan to then-infrastructure minister Darren Chester from March 2017, calling for the road to be put on the National Land Transport Network list, which would spark a process to gain joint funding.
“We went to Mr Tehan and said we need it changed,” he said. “He said we needed a letter from the State Government saying they rated it as an important road and then he’ll do his bit. It took us about a year to get that letter and we took it back to Mr Tehan. Now it’s his job to do what he promised.”
Mr Purcell said Mr Tehan had to put pressure on Federal infrastructure minister Michael McCormack to get it done.
He said funding of $300 million, as jointly put forward by councils from west of Colac to the South Australian border to fix the road, was the “absolute minimum” amount needed.
“It needs to be fixed properly,” he said. “It’s something that can be done quickly. It’s no big issue.”
Mr Tehan said his government would be considering the road over the coming months.
“The reason I wrote to Luke Donnellan in April was to ensure that it still remains the state government’s firm commitment to place this as a road of national significance,” he said.
“That was their position last year and it’s a position that I welcome. What I want to make sure is that now the negotiations are about to start that it still clearly remains their priority and they will have it as one of their top priorities in their discussions with the federal government.”