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In the seat of Corangamite, RACV’s highest priority road project that needs ongoing Federal Government funding is the duplication of the Princes Highway West, between Winchelsea and Colac. The project lies at the heart of the seat, and is similarly vital for people within the seats of Corio and Wannon. Along with Corangamite, the three seats cover south-west Victoria.
RACV believes party support for completing the duplication of the Princes Highway West, from Winchelsea to Colac, is as shown in Table 1. The 2016 Coalition Federal Budget allocated funding for the completion of the duplication. RACV wants all candidates and parties to honour this commitment if they are elected.
There’s no doubt that once major roads are ‘duplicated’ with two lanes in each direction, separated by a wide median, they become much easier and safer to drive on. Drivers no longer have to constantly search for gaps to overtake when they stuck behind a much slower moving vehicle. The risk of a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle is significantly reduced. The reconstruction of the road leads to a smoother ride, and other safety improvements including upgraded rest areas, crash barriers around hazards, intersection lighting where there is a risk of night-time crashes, and better line marking.
Other transport projects within Corangamite
In addition to the duplication of the Princes Highway West, it is essential that there is more Federal and State Government investment in improving the safety features of the roads that form Victoria’s major highway network. In 2014, the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) estimated that an investment of $580 million across Victoria would save at least 2,800 people from serious injury or death on these roads over the next 20 years. This is mostly by installing flexible crash barriers, edge line and centre line rumble strips, and sealing shoulders, on locations determined to be 1-star and 2-star roads (where 5-star is the safest).
Duplication from Winchelsea to Colac will remove sections of 2-star road, particularly just east of Colac. However, other sections remain west of Colac, and much more even further west of Warrnambool within the seat of Wannon.
Projects outside of Corangamite
RACV also supports the Western Distributor project, which will widen the West Gate Freeway between the M80 Western Ring Road and West Gate Bridge, and then provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge, with better access to the Port of Melbourne. With many people travelling to the city from within the seat of Corangamite, particularly from the Surf Coast region, the extra lanes and alternative route will help their commute.
Commitments announced so far
At this stage, RACV believes support and opposition to the Western Distributor project is as shown in Table 2. At this stage only the Labor State Government is supporting the project.
Federal Liveral *
* proposed financial terms for support rejected by State Government.
RACV is calling for all the candidates to pledge their support for a range of major projects, should they be elected.
Before you vote
Before you vote in the seat of Corangamite, find out whether the candidates you want to vote for will:
support the continuation of the duplication of Princes Highway West between Winchelsea and Colac
support Federal funding for other road upgrades, to provide a minimum 3-star road for the complete Princes Highway West
will support RACV’s other transport infrastructure priorities for Victoria, including the Western Distributor project.
Use the online form to send an e-mail to the candidates seeking their support for the transport projects and policies that matter to the people of Corangamite and south-west Victoria.
Written by Brian Negus, General Manager Public Policy May 18, 2016