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Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos welcomed yesterday’s announcement that $970m from the Port of Melbourne lease proceeds will be invested into regional Victoria, and called for the Barwon Heads Road Duplication to be funded as a priority project.
As part of negotiations to enable the legislation for the lease to pass through Parliament, the Liberal Party insisted that 10 per cent of the lease proceeds would go into rural and regional infrastructure investment.
Under Labor’s original terms, the entirety of the lease proceeds would have be invested into metropolitan Melbourne, but thanks to the Liberal Party, $970 million of the proceeds will be invested into regional and rural Victoria.
Mr Katos said the government had originally expected to raise $6-$7 billion from the proceeds of the lease, but today’s stronger-than-expected announcement of $9.7 billion has brought an additional multi-billion-dollar windfall into the government coffers, which has also boosted the regional allocation.
Almost $1 billion of the proceeds is available for desperately-needed regional infrastructure projects, such as the Barwon Heads Road duplication.
“Armstrong Creek is one the largest growth areas in Victoria with 55,000 people and 22,000 homes expected to be built so Daniel Andrews must make the duplication of the Barwon Heads Road a priority to be funded from this windfall gain” Mr Katos said.
Mr Katos said that the current road works for the Warralily town centre construction highlighted the urgent need for the start of the duplication of the Barwon Heads Road.
“Traffic was reduced to one lane over the previous weekend which caused significant delays of up to 15 to 20 minutes and from this Wednesday the Barwon Heads Road at Warralily will be closed entirely for 5 days in both directions.” Mr Katos said.
“Whilst these works are necessary for the construction of the Warralily Town Centre they will further highlight the need for the duplication of the Barwon Heads Road.”