Western Highway Action Committee turns funding hopes to federal budget

The Western Highway Action Committee chairman and Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said it was pleasing to see planning money.

The Western Highway Action Committee chairman and Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said it was pleasing to see planning money.

THE Western Highway Action Committee will now turn its attention to the federal budget on Tuesday in the hopes for more funding.

The 2014-15 state budget included $42 million to duplicate about 18 kilometres of the Western Highway between Beaufort and Buangor and $50 million to duplicate the highway between Burrumbeet and Beaufort.

It also included funding for pre-construction work for bypasses at Beaufort and Ararat.

Committee chairman and Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said it was pleasing to see planning money.

"The money for the duplication was money we knew was coming, and now we are looking forward to the federal budget to see if we can continue the duplication to Stawell," he said.

"The Federal Government contributes 80 per cent of the funding, so we will wait and see what happens.

"If they don't deliver, we will take it from there."

Cr Erwin said the money for bypasses was also welcomed.

"It was something that we have been lobbying for, for quite some time," he said.

"Now those communities at Beaufort and Ararat have more certainty - they know where the highway will go in the future.

"It's a good thing."

Cr Erwin said it was a 'big spending infrastructure budget'.

"It's what people wanted to see," he said.

The Federal Government has announced it will also fund planning works for the bypasses.

Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said bypasses would improve the amenity of Beaufort and Ararat.

"At the same time, the bypasses will improve road safety for more than 5500 vehicles a day that travel on the Western Highway," he said.

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