Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has called on the State Government to nominate the Kilmore Bypass as a shovel-ready project to assist with the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Ryan wrote to Treasurer Tim Pallas last week to urge the government to nominate the project for funding through the Federal Government’s $100 billion infrastructure program ‘in order to stimulate the economy and to keep people in work in the wake of COVID-19’.
Ms Ryan said responsibility for funding the bypass lay with the State Government, but she hoped the Federal Government might give it consideration.
“The state is very clearly responsible for this project, but given the Andrews government’s refusal to fund it, I have asked the Treasurer to nominate the project for the Federal Government’s consideration,” she said.
“The bypass is shovel-ready. The State Government has spent billions of dollars on infrastructure in inner Melbourne, but it is doing the bare minimum in growth areas like Kilmore.”
Ms Ryan said the Kilmore Bypass was on-track to be completed by the end of 2017 when Labor was elected into government in 2014.
In her letter to Mr Pallas, Ms Ryan said it was unreasonable for the land acquisition process to take three years.
“In light of the speed with which approvals have been granted and construction has commenced on enormous city-based projects like the West Gate Tunnel and North East Link, it is unreasonable the government is taking a full three years to undertake the land acquisition on the Kilmore bypass,” she said.
Mr Ryan said the government did nothing until some funding for land acquisition for the bypass was allocated in the 2018/2019 state budget.
“But even that has been pushed out to June 2022,” she said.
“My preference is to see the state get on and fund the project, but if they won’t do that, then the least they could do is put it forward as an option to the Federal Government.”