The Nationals Shadow Minister for Roads, Danny O’Brien, has visited Kilmore with local MP, Annabelle Cleeland, after the Andrews Government advised the Kilmore bypass project required further planning and a business case had not been completed after eight years in government.
With the land acquisition timeline continually being extended, Ms Cleeland said local landholders need certainty and action.
“To still be no where near finishing a simple land acquisition process after eight years is an indictment on this government, but emblematic of their disdain for regional communities,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Landholders along the bypass route have been in limbo for years and there seems no end in sight.
“Last year’s budget showed the bypass hadn’t just hit a brick wall; it’s going backwards.”
Last week in Parliament Ms Cleeland formally invited the Roads Minister to meet with the Kilmore community after being refused a briefing on the bypass’ progress from the Department of Transport.
“The Minister is just an hour down the road. I’d love her to come for a walk down Sydney St, talk to business owners and locals and understand the impact of her government’s inaction,” Ms Cleeland said.
“As Shadow Minister Danny has visited Kilmore twice in the last six months because unlike others, he understands the urgency of this project and what needs to be done.
“The uncertainty has to stop; for landholders, for business owners and for every single member of the Kilmore community.”
Shadow Minister for Roads Danny O’Brien said the inaction of the Andrews Government was purely a reflection of priorities.
“The Kilmore bypass is an incredibly straightforward project, but the Andrews Government have turned their back on it,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Rather than build a simple, yet essential, piece of regional infrastructure they’ve been busy throwing $30 billion down the drain in cost blow outs alone for metro pet projects.
“The West Gate Tunnel took two years to plan despite having to bore underground. How can a crucial regional road project still be in planning after eight years.
“This is purely a case of contempt for regional Victoria and a complete lack of government willpower.
“The Kilmore community needs and deserves urgent action on the bypass after eight years of excuses.”