State’s Treasurer urged to nominate Kilmore bypass
24 April 2020
The Andrews Government is under renewed pressure to build the Kilmore bypass, as the Federal Government calls on states to nominate shovel-ready projects to assist with the economic recovery of COVID-19.
Member for Euroa and The Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan wrote to the state’s Treasurer Tim Pallas this week, urging him to nominate the bypass project in discussions with the Commonwealth.
Ms Ryan said responsibility for funding the bypass lay with the Victorian 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,” Ms Ryan said.
“The bypass is shovel ready. Labor has spent billions of dollars on infrastructure in inner Melbourne, but it is doing the bare minimum in growth areas like Kilmore.
“This project has always been considered the responsibility of the Victorian Government, but if the Commonwealth is calling on states to nominate shovel ready projects to stimulate the economy, then the bypass is an obvious choice because it is sitting there ready to go.
When the Andrews Government took power in 2014, planning for the bypass was almost complete, and the project was on track to be finished by the end of 2017.
“The Andrews Government did nothing until they allocated some funding for land acquisition for the bypass in the 2018/2019 state budget, but even that has been pushed out to June 2022.
Ms Ryan’s letter comes the day after the Andrews Government decided to borrow another $24.5 billion dollars.
“Labor’s huge borrowings will leave less money in years to come for major projects like the bypass when we are left to pay this money back.
“It’s important that the government spends it wisely on projects like the bypass which will help generate jobs and productivity.
“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,” Ms Ryan said.