Kilmore land acquisition bypassed for years
20 May 2021
Land acquisition for the Kilmore bypass has been delayed by a further three years, today’s state budget papers show.
Member for Euroa and The Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan has savaged the state Labor Government for refusing to allocate capital funding to the much-needed project.
“Three years ago the Andrews Government claimed the project was back on track, with a $20 million allocation to acquire the land for the project,” Ms Ryan said.
“We were told that the land acquisition process would be completed by June 2019.
“At the time Jaclyn Symes told the North Central Review that ‘we are committed to getting on with this and bringing some certainty to the community…this progresses it to the next stage and we will be in a strong position for full project funding…this is something which is on track’.
“Jaclyn Symes sits around the cabinet table making these funding decisions.
“The Kilmore bypass is not on track and Ms Symes owes the Kilmore community an apology for leading them to believe that Labor would fund the bypass.
“This Labor Government never had any intention of funding the bypass and this year’s state budget confirms it. Labor has now pushed off the land acquisition process until June 2023.”
Ms Ryan said documents she obtained recently through Freedom of Information showed the Andrews Government does not consider the Kilmore bypass to be a major road project.
“The Major Transport Infrastructure Authority put forward briefs to the Minister on major road projects for Victoria, including projects such as the Shepparton bypass, the Drysdale bypass and the Barwon Heads road duplication. The Kilmore bypass was not even on the list,” Ms Ryan said.
“Under The Nationals, this project was on track for completion in 2017. Ms Symes keeps telling us it’s not shovel ready, but that is only because Labor doesn’t want to put a shovel in the ground.
“In the time Labor has been ‘planning this project’ they have wasted $6 billion on cost overruns on the West Gate Tunnel project and Melbourne Metro.”
Ms Ryan said Kilmore’s main street continued to crumble as it struggles to keep up with the thousands of trucks that pass through the town each day.
“Visitors to the town can’t even sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee at the café due to the noise and vibrations of heavy vehicle traffic,” Ms Ryan said.