Tuesday, 7 March 2023


Rural and regional roads

Rural and regional roads

Wayne FARNHAM (Narracan) (19:29): (79) The action I seek is from the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and what I am asking is for $3 million to be put into Regional Roads Victoria for intersection upgrades and road designs for Warragul and Drouin. This issue has been going on since 2017. We have had numerous ministers since then that have ignored this issue. Warragul and Drouin, or the Baw Baw shire in particular, is one of the fastest growing local government areas in Australia; in fact it is the ninth fastest local government area in Australia and the fifth fastest in Victoria. At these intersections now the residents of Warragul and Drouin in particular just cannot travel through these towns anymore. It is just growing at such a rate that the infrastructure is so far behind. So I ask the minister to please invest $3 million into Regional Roads Victoria so they can get these studies and designs done.

We have Burke Street in Warragul, for example, where it takes you 20 minutes to travel 1 kilometre. To compound that problem, we have got a new ambulance station in the same area. If an ambulance cannot get through the congestion, people’s lives are at risk. I really do encourage the minister: I am more than happy for the minister to come down, and I am more than happy to show the minister around my electorate and the problems that we have there.

In Drouin, for example, it takes you 20 minutes to get through the town. I sat here today and listened to the minister say, ‘We’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in regional Victoria.’ We are only asking for $3 million. We are not asking for hundreds of millions, we are asking for $3 million, and I do not think it is too much of an ask to invest $3 million in Regional Roads Victoria so these communities can start living a better life.

I know if these intersections were in Melbourne they would be fixed, but because they are in regional Victoria, they seem to be ignored. I did get concerned when through the election I heard people say, ‘Narracan needs to be marginal to get funding.’ To me, that is an insult to the people of Narracan. I do not think we have to be marginal to get funding. I think the government has always said that it governs for all Victorians. I would like the government to govern for all Victorians, and – as they say – I would like the government to do what matters for the people of Narracan. So I call on the minister for this funding. It is urgent. It has been five years. Since this was initially talked about, that population has grown 7500 people in five years. I call on the minister, and I am happy to chauffeur her around Narracan and show her the problems firsthand so we can get this problem resolved.