Mr PURCELL (Western Victoria) — My question is also to Minister Pulford, representing the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. Last week it was pleasing to see the CEO of VicRoads, John Merritt, in south-west Victoria facing the unhappy road users at public meetings in Portland and Warrnambool. It was even more pleasing to see his support for a two-plus-one, being a continuous passing lane on the Princes Highway from Colac to the South Australian border. My question is: will the minister at least support the VicRoads CEO and the local campaign to construct 50 passing lanes from Colac to the South Australian border?
Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture) — I thank Mr Purcell for his question and for his ongoing interest in the quality of roads in south-west Victoria. I note that Ms Tierney also shares, as do I, a strong interest in this area.
Ms Crozier — So does Mr Ramsay.
Ms PULFORD — Yes, and Mr Ramsay. Mr Morris, would you like to join in too? There are five of us in our region. Ms Tierney made some significant funding announcements on behalf of the government in recent months that will hopefully make a very real difference. The question Mr Purcell has asked and directed to my colleague Minister Donnellan seeks a response as to his view of the passing lanes campaign, and I will certainly seek for Mr Purcell a written response from the minister to that effect.
WRITTEN RESPONSE (Received 21 March 2017)
I support the construction of more overtaking lanes on the Princes Highway, between Colac and the South Australian border.
In the 2016-17 State Budget, the Government provided $51.6 million for a Regional Overtaking Lanes package to reduce the risk of crashes and improve travel times and reliability on a number of regional roads.
Under the Regional Overtaking Lanes package, $6.7 million will be provided to construct two overtaking lanes on the Princes Highway West at Weerite.
VicRoads will be undertaking further investigations to determine options to improve the capacity of Princes Highway West, between Colac and the South Australian border.