Nationals leader hits the road from Melbourne to Adelaide
LEADER of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Warren Truss is kicking off a four-day road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide today to inspect the Western Highway and Dukes Highway ahead of the Coalition developing its priorities for the national highway.
“Victoria’s Western Highway, which adjoins Dukes Highway in SA, is the main arterial for interstate trade between Melbourne and Adelaide and is the key transport corridor through Victoria’s western region, supporting farming, grain production, regional tourism and a range of manufacturing and service activities,” Mr Truss explained.
“It is a critical route. At the last election the Coalition committed to upgrading the highway east of Adelaide with the eventual goal of completing a four-lane road between Melbourne and Adelaide. That commitment remains.
“Today’s traffic volumes of more than 5,500 vehicles west of Ballarat every day, including 1,500 trucks, is expected to double by 2025.
“To ensure the route continues to be a viable corridor for travel and freight, funding must be appropriate and the plans in train post-haste to meet the bourgeoning challenges ahead.
“At the SA border, 2,000 vehicles each day use the route, half of which are for commercial use. East of Nhill that number increases to 2,900 vehicles a day (50% commercial use) and West of Horsham 5,000 vehicles per day (32% commercial) rely on the road.
“Dukes Hwy is one of SA’s busiest. According to the RAA the section between Tailem Bend and Keith records high traffic volumes of up to 4,800 vehicles per day (40% commercial).
“These numbers alone tell the story of a busy highway but I want to see the problems for myself and talk to the local who are affected.”
Over the next four days, Monday 6 August to Thursday 9 August (inclusive), Mr Truss will travel the route and nearby areas meeting with community groups and representatives taking in Beaufort, Ararat, Hamilton and Warrnambool on Day 1; Halls Gap and Stawell on Day 2; Horsham, Dooen and Keith on Day 3; and driving into Adelaide on Day 4.
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