MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) Last week there was great news for communities in the vicinity of the Great Ocean Road, in the south-west of my electorate.
I was so pleased to be at Eastern View’s Memorial Arch for the announcement of a fantastic investment of $272.2 million that will upgrade the Great Ocean Road, its bridges, and the important hinterland roads.
The Great Ocean Road is not just a testament to the diggers who fought in World War I—it’s an iconic attraction built on the very edge of a rugged coastline, with special engineering challenges.
It’s a great tourist attraction, of course.
As well, along with the network of roads making up the south-west dairy supply chain, between the coast and Princes Highway west, it’s also an important transport route for our agricultural produce.
Residents, regional councils, businesses relying on tourism, and farmers have contacted my office since last week to say how excited they are about the boost this investment will give to regional visitation.
They’re also really pleased that the Andrews Labor government is addressing the major issues posed by milk trucks and transports on roads that were never designed to carry such loads.
The upgrades will mean safer and more effective transport to processing centres and markets.
The inland roads are also vital to our regional communities, so the benefits of rebuilding, resealing and widening will be widely felt.
As we recover from COVID, we expect that tourism in the south-west will grow and, along with the projects generated by such a terrific investment, will support local jobs and economies.