Great Alpine Road will receive boost for road repair
The Great Alpine Road near Dry Gully Road west of Omeo will receive $479,000 as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s recently announced $45 million boost to road maintenance, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced today.
Mr Bull said the route through the alpine region has deteriorated over the winter period and is now set for a necessary upgrade.
Today’s funding announcement is in addition to recent funding announcements of half a million dollars to reseal the road between Swift’s Creek and Omeo and a further section at Lockup Creek north of Tambo Crossing, as well as the $2.55m announced in August to tackle run-off-road crashes on the lower sections of the GAR and the $2m to repair significant landslips after the recent floods.
“I have been contacted by many local residents concerned with this section of road and I’m pleased that we have been able to advocate for funding to commence the much needed repair work.”
Omeo businessman and bus operator, Rod O’Connell said the local community is very pleased the funding has been made available to repair the road.
“We have raised our concerns about the state of the road, especially after the recent wet weather, and it is very pleasing to know works will commence soon.
“The Omeo community is hopeful it will meet with VicRoads to discuss the works program before works commence in February,” said Mr O’Connell.
Mr Bull said, “The Great Alpine Road is a vital access road for locals as well as a busy tourist route for those heading to the snowfields.
“Interim measures such as asphalt patching and a speed limit reduction were carried out previously for the safety of the road users.
“The road will now undergo much needed pavement reconstruction works, which will be welcomed by the many motorists who use this route.
“The road is also enjoyed by the many motorcyclists who undertake the scenic ride from the north east to the east or vice versa.
“These upcoming works will not only create a smoother, safer road for motorists, they will also preserve the longevity of the road, reduce the maintenance it requires in future and enable the speed limit of 100km/h to be reinstated.
“The works announced today are another example of the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to maintaining Victoria’s roads.”
Works are expected to start in February 2013 and be completed by the end of June 2013.
New help for control of Gippsland wild dogs
The protection of Gippsland sheep flocks against wild dog attacks has been further boosted with an extra community baiting co-ordinator in the region as part of a three-year project.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull welcomed the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) funding and said the co-ordinator would complement activities undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
“The addition of this AWI co-ordinator will assist sheep producers to develop and implement community baiting programs aimed at reducing the impact of wild dogs,” Mr Bull said.
“By conducting baiting at a community level and timing it prior to lambing and other seasonal events, control activities will have the greatest impact on wild dogs.” Mr Bull said Gippsland’s wild dog baiting community co-ordinator position was being shared between Brian Dowley and David Krajca.
“They will assist the community to develop and co-ordinate baiting programs, ensuring these programs are co-ordinated with local wild dog control activities undertaken by DPI,” Mr Bull said.
“Mr Dowley and Mr Krajca will also organise training for participants to gain the necessary accreditation to use 1080 wild dog bait products.”
Baiting is part of an integrated control program undertaken by producers including exclusion fencing, hunting and the use of guardian animals to protect livestock.
During the Spring Community Baiting Program in the Ensay, Swifts Creek, Omeo and Benambra areas, 45 producers placed 4,500 predator baits over 61,000 hectares of private land to control wild dogs.
“Many producers are already seeing improvements from the baiting with less dog activity in some areas, but baiting and trapping programs must be maintained to ensure success is achieved over the entire landscape,” Mr Bull said.
Bestwool/Bestlamb (BWBL) president Jason Trompf said thanks to State Government and AWI funding, BWBL was continuing to improve the productivity of sheep producers.
“Through wild dog producer groups and co-ordinators we can extend our support and make a difference to producers,” Mr Trompf said.