Joint media release
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria
The Albanese Government is stalling delivery of stage 2 of the Barwon Heads Rd duplication, which will leave Armstrong Creek and Bellarine Peninsula residents battling congestion for years to come.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said Labor has delayed over $100 million in funding for stage 2 of the project until well beyond the next election.
Visiting Geelong with Senator Sarah Henderson, Senator McKenzie inspected construction works of stage 1 of the project to which the former Coalition Government contributed $292 million or 80 per cent of the total funding cost.
“The Coalition in government understood the vital importance of this project in better connecting significant growth corridors, from southern Geelong to Barwon Heads and beyond on the Bellarine Peninsula.
“With stage 1 of the Barwon Heads Road upgrade close to completion, local residents are already benefiting from the Coalition’s safety upgrade of this major road corridor, ensuring people get home safer and sooner to their loved ones.” Senator McKenzie said.
Stage 2 of the Barwon Heads Road upgrade involves the duplication of an additional six kilometres of road between Reserve Road in Marshall through to Lower Duneed Road in Armstrong Creek.
Senator Henderson said Labor’s decision to delay this project demonstrated that Prime Minister Albanese and Corangamite MP Libby Coker had failed the transparency test.
“Despite stage 2 of the Barwon Heads Road upgrade being a Labor election promise, Mr Albanese and Ms Coker have delayed the majority of funding for the project until beyond the next election.
“By 2031, Barwon Heads Rd is projected to carry up to 44,000 cars and trucks every day and the population of Armstrong Creek will more than double to over 60,000 residents living in 22,000 dwellings.”
“If we don’t build for that growth now, local residents will have to endure ever- increasing road congestion for far too long,” Senator Henderson said.
Senator McKenzie said the Coalition will continue to fight to have Labor’s cut and delayed projects restored to the works schedule for the benefit of communities in the Corangamite electorate and throughout Victoria.
“It’s clear to us the infrastructure pipeline has become an ATM which Labor raids to pay for its runaway spending and inability to manage the budget.
“As Stage 2 of this project is not part of the infrastructure review, Labor must prioritise and fast track the funding and construction.
“Australians deserve better – better roads, better rail and better infrastructure, not more cuts and delays from the Labor Government,” Senator McKenzie said.