Roads to Market funding a small step in the right direction: Purcell

A comprehensive plan and considered coordination of many small projects will help improve road conditions in south-west Victoria is needed, according to Western Victoria MP James Purcell.

Mr Purcell welcomed the $998,000 Roads to Market grant announced this week, contributing toward a $1.5 million Moyne Shire Council infrastructure upgrade to improve access for heavy freight vehicles from the farmgate to arterial roads.

"These works are most welcome, but they are just a small piece of a big puzzle that needs community input and careful planning to bring our roads up to minimum standards," he said.

Mr Purcell has introduced a number of campaigns to stimulate policy and funding for road issues in the region.

"We've worked every possible angle to bring attention to the issue," he said.

"We have ongoing work toward changing the status of the Princes Highway to a road of national importance, which will see funding from both state and federal budgets for upgrades on the main highway.

"Our 50 passing lanes campaign has seen overwhelming public support to increase passing lanes along that highway to make it safer for local traffic, freight and tourists," he said.

Mr Purcell said the recent establishment of a Country Roads group in Ballarat was a step in the right direction and he hoped this would allow for better coordination and planning on repairs and upgrades across the region.

His motion in November 2017 asked for a full government inquiry into VicRoads and its management of regional roads and called for the re-establishment of a Country Roads board.

"The interim report released last week has referred the problem to the next parliament. It's a big problem, one that VicRoads has preempted by establishing the Ballarat group and I really hope we'll start to see better coordination and management of funding, including small one-off grants such as this Roads to Market initiative.

The latest funding will go towards widening five kilometres of Staywood Road and Spring Flat Road and upgrading the Staywood Road and Spring Flat Road intersection, which will divert heavy traffic away from Warrnambool and create a 12.3 kilometre freight route.