Home' The Great Southern Star : January 10th 2017 Contents PAGE 12 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, January 10, 2017
THE State Government
will have to increase its
to improving the South
Gippsland Highway, de-
spite allocating $25 mil-
lion to the Black Spur re-
alignment and widening
That is the view of Gippsland
South MLA Danny O’Brien.
He welcomed the recent $50
million Federal-State govern-
ments’ package for the highway
as a great outcome for the com-
Mr O’Brien, who has been
fighting for the funding to ad-
dress the dangerous Black Spur
bends between Koonwarra and
Meeniyan, said he was pleased
to be able to get the State Gov-
ernment to match the Federal
However he said it was im-
portant the State Government
recognised it would likely need
to increase the funding commit-
ment it has now made.
“The Federal Coalition
made its commitment to the
South Gippsland Highway very
clear. Darren Chester allocated
$20 million to the Black Spur
project and a further $5 million
between Foster and Yarram,”
Mr O’Brien said.
“The Melbourne Labor
Government needs to match
both of these commitments and
ensure that we upgrade as much
of the highway as possible.
“I understand the Black Spur
realignment is likely to cost
more than $50 million which
would mean the State Govern-
ment would need to contribute
well more than the $25 million
that has been announced so far.
“There was never any obli-
gation for the Commonwealth
to contribute to the South
Gippsland Highway as it is not
on the national network, so the
$25 million that Darren Chester
and Russell Broadbent have de-
livered is effectively a free gift
for Daniel Andrews and Luke
“The State Government
must put in any shortfall to fully
fund the Black Spur section and
ensure the full $10 million of
joint funding from Federal and
State governments for works
east of Foster is delivered.
“I believe that with that $10
million, we could deliver a new
overtaking lane between Fos-
ter and Welshpool as well as
widening the road and taking
out some of the curves in some
sections and I call on the La-
bor Government to continue to
work to that effect.
“So far its announcements
have been short on detail, but
the people living east of Foster
deserve a better road as well.”
Mr O’Brien said it was clear
the Black Spur and the wider
South Gippsland upgrade would
not have occurred if it was left
to the Labor Party.
“I know we’ve been waiting
for this project for a long time,
but it has taken action by The
Nationals Darren Chester and
Member for McMillan, Rus-
sell Broadbent, to spur the State
Government into action,” he
“I am pleased to have
played my part in lobbying for
this project, but I want to ensure
that it is delivered in full for all
South Gippslanders: that is the
Black Spur realignment is com-
pleted as well as works further
to the east.”
When asked if the State
Government would fund extra
works, Minister for Roads and
Road Safety Luke Donnellan
dismissed the question and
said Mr O’Brien and his
previous Liberal National
“are all talk and no action”.
“We’re getting on with
upgrading the South Gippsland
notorious Black Spur, to save
lives and reduce the risk of
serious injuries,” he said.
Post: PO Box 84 Leongatha 3953
Fax: 03 5662 4350
Post: PO Box 84 Leongatha 3953
Fax: 03 5662 4350
OPINIONS Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
AS we and look to a new year,
many of us will be checking
credit card bills or buying last-
minute items as we head off on
With the growing presence
of online businesses the temp-
tation to buy from overseas is
bigger than ever before.
It is with this in mind that
I write to implore Gippslanders
to buy locally whenever pos-
sible and help support our local
Local businesses rely on
locals to stay in business and
more successful businesses
means more jobs for local
people. But it’s not just about
Many of these businesses
are owned by locals, who pass
on the benefits by shopping lo-
cally themselves or by sponsor-
ing our local community and
sporting clubs and fundraising
Shopping online can be
convenient for those working
full time or juggling children
in one arm and grocery bags
in the other, but don’t forget
that many of our local business
have online shopping available
Please keep this in mind in
2017 and support local jobs by
Gippsland South MLA.
VICROADS is tak-
ing advantage of the
warmer weather to ramp
up roadworks in South
The summer program includes
important road maintenance includ-
ing mowing and vegetation trim-
ming to reduce fire risk and improve
road safety and visibility.
In the next three months, Vi-
cRoads will spend $2.1 million
on resurfacing works in the South
Gippsland Shire in addition to recent
investments of $630,000 to rebuild
sections of the Fish Creek-Foster
Road at Fish Creek and $685,000
to rebuild the Waratah Road at Fish
Creek and Waratah North.
Nineteen resurfacing works are
planned for South Gippsland.
Finalisation of works on the
South Gippsland Highway at Ruby
started this week.
Works completed last year were
impacted by adverse weather condi-
tions late in the season. A bitumen
seal surface was applied to protect
the site during winter and spring pe-
riod to prevent damage to vehicles
travelling through the area.
The temporary seal will now
be lifted and the crushed rock com-
pacted before a new seal is applied
to make the road smoother and safer
VicRoads regional director
Scott Lawrence said the condition
of the road would be addressed as
a priority now warmer weather was
here. Warm and dry conditions in
summer are ideal for road construc-
tion and provide the best conditions
for the application of new surfaces.
“Our crews will commence on
the South Gippsland Highway from
this week. We expect this section of
road to be reopened by the end of
January 2017,” Mr Lawrence said.
“There may be speed reductions
and some delays while the works
are carried out and we thank motor-
ists for their patience.”
“The message is simple, slow
down, drive carefully and let’s get
everyone home safe.”
Other VicRoads works include:
Inverloch-Venus Bay Road, Tar-
Meeniyan-Mirboo North Road,
Roadworks to ramp up
shortfall must be met: MP
• Gippsland South MLA
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“The setting (at Mossvale
Park) is just brilliant. I keep
Why do you love
music festivals in
IF anyone had the secret to revitalising country
towns then every shop in every town across the
country would be full.
Yet unfortunately every town in rural Victoria seems to have
its fair share of empty shops.
It’s just that right now, and for some time, Leongatha seems
to have more than what could be expected.
The dairy downturn could well be at the root of the prob-
lem, with dairy farmers having to tighten their belts and in some
cases put off staff, and with those factors combined, the amount
of spending in country towns drops.
However the number of empty shops in Leongatha has been
increasing for some time and perhaps the plight of the dairy in-
dustry has exacerbated the problem rather than directly caused
Either way, the community, together with businesses and
South Gippsland Shire Council, is urged to work together and
make the revitalisation of Leongatha’s retail sector a priority
While existing retailers work hard to service the communi-
ty’s desires, there is a need for a broader range of products and
services in town to better cater for the community.
The more reason people have to shop in Leongatha, the more
spinoffs to other businesses too and so the circle continues, with
benefits all round.
Leongatha services a massive area, from Yarram through to
Inverloch, and Mirboo North through to Nyora, and in doing so
has a significant population to look after.
Why then are there so many empty shops in town?
Let’s get the conversation underway. Is it is too hard to get a
planning permit to open a shop in Leongatha? Is parking unsafe
in Bair Street? Do local businesses need to offer more online
shopping options to help encourage people to shop locally, es-
pecially if they live out of town?
The Star welcomes your input to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s kickstart Leongatha
“Everyone is always so friend-
ly here at the festivals.”
“It’s always exciting to hear
something new. I’ve heard
some interesting bands over
“I love the atmosphere. It’s
nice and laid-back.”
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will be undertak-
ing necessary road pavement reconstruction works
on Koonwarra-Pound Creek Road from January
To facilitate the works, a section of road will be closed to
all through traffic from January 16 to 20.
Electronic variable message signs are in place to advise
road users. The closure will take place between Lyons Court
and Wisdoms Road for a length of 600 metres.
Vehicle access will be available to all properties along
Koonwarra-Pound Creek Road, Leongatha South and all side
roads during the works. Council’s engineering coordinator
Paul Challis said although the timing of the works was not
ideal, the works were necessary.
“There are many reasons why it was important reconstruc-
tion works started this month, including the need to do the
works during mid-summer, contractor availability and, impor-
tantly, the requirement to have the road open when school goes
back as it is a school route,” he said.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and advise
motorists to plan ahead and consider alternate through routes
such as Pound Creek Road or Tarwin Lower Road during the
week long closure.”
to seek detour
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