Warrnambool City councillors are pushing for upgrades to the dilapidated and dangerous Princes Highway and say the upcoming federal election provides the perfect opportunity to seek cash commitments.
The council joined with Colac Otway Shire, Corangamite Shire and Moyne Shire to form the Princes Highway West Action Alliance in September last year.
It was formed to lobby state and federal governments for $300 million for infrastructure works on the highway between Colac and the South Australian border.
It has been 19 years since the last VicRoads plan for the highway was produced.
There have been nine fatalities, 109 people who have suffered serious injuries and others who have been injured as a result of accidents on the road in that time.
Councillor Sue Cassidy said it didn’t seem like $300 million was much for a project of its size, but the region always seemed to miss out on funding commitments.
“Hopefully with the federal election coming up something can happen,” she said.
Cr Peter Hulin said it was a “sad situation this part of the state was so neglected by the state and federal governments”.
“We have to just consistently continue to annoy them to the point they see how important it is for us,” he said.
“I believe with a new CEO we will have a fresh start on attracting the money that needs to be spent on this part of the state.”
Cr Kylie Gaston said previous data showed the road was one of the worst in the state.
“I don’t think it’s improved,” she said. “The state of our roads across the south-west are a real concern. It has reached a critical position where we need to advocate strategically and proactively.”
Cr David Owen said the alliance was critical to the development of the region.
“The state of our roads west of Colac are appalling and dangerous,” he said.
The Alliance is requesting state and federal governments prepare a plan which identifies road safety and improvement opportunities for the 297 kilometre stretch and is also seeking the highway’s inclusion on the National Land Transport Network.
It is running a social media campaign and is also undertaking an independent review which will deliver an accurate assessment of the state of the road.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Warrnambool.