The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL | Get moving on highway project

Dean Lawson Editorial Nov 2017
Waiting, waiting, waiting! Anyone who travels regularly through the region on the Western Highway would understand the frustration of motorists using this busy corridor.
If you are heading west from Melbourne towards the South Australian border, the drive is a comfortable dual-carriageway cruise – until just before Ararat.
If you are heading east from the west Wimmera, the drive can be everything from easy and relaxed to annoying and downright dangerous depending on circumstance or timing.
The State Government has announced changes to a dual-carriageway route for the Western Highway, making cultural allowances involving Aboriginal concerns so work can proceed between Beaufort and Ararat.
Good. Finally. Can we now please move the project along at a pace that is acceptable for a modern state and country?
Our great Australian mate ‘Blind Freddy’ long ago spotted a need for a hurry-up to establish a dual-carriageway highway between Melbourne and Adelaide.
We’re seeing it gradually happen – but it is all moving at what seems to be at a snail’s pace, with everything from project identification and funding allocations to actually getting the project done.
Political discussion involving the dual-carriageway highway project at the moment involves a Melbourne to Stawell section.
The section from Ballarat to Stawell has a price tag of $672.3-million, which includes $501.3 from the Federal Government and $171-million from the State Government.
But the last time we looked, progress work was a long way from being anywhere near Stawell.
Is it going to happen or not? And what about after Stawell? Will we be content to leave a job unfinished?
Communities along the Western Highway have for a few years now been busy debating bypass routes, truck detours and the potential impact highway changes might have on their centres.
They have looked at plans, attended information sessions and contemplated the future.
This is all good and well, but many are none the wiser about when a dual-
carriageway highway, an accepted norm for busy transport routes in other parts of Australia, might one day ease travelling conditions in the Wimmera.
We understand there are all sorts of geographical, environmental, socio-
economic and cultural issues to address when constructing major infrastructure.
But there are only so many excuses for dragging the chain.

Hurry-up call for Western Highway project

The entire February 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Feb 6 2019

Posted by on Feb 6 2019. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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