The Victorian government issued its support behind the federal government's decision to reject protection of land earmarked for the Western Highway duplication.
On Friday, federal environment minister Sussan Ley confirmed land which activists hoped to have protected under federal law would not be protected. The decision opened the door for works to soon begin on the highway duplication.
"We're pleased a decision has been reached after extensive consultation and significant design revisions - we'll look to restart work as soon as possible," Victorian transport minister Jacinta Allan said.
"The project has been approved by the Registered Aboriginal Party, Martang Pty Ltd and by the Eastern Marr Aboriginal Corporation, it has all necessary planning, environment and cultural heritage permissions and following the Federal Government's decision, we're pleased to be able to get back to work."
"It's crucial for the safety of the local community that the Western Highway upgrade is complete, and now a decision has been made we'll look to deliver this much-needed project."
Ripon MP Louise Staley said she is keen for the project to get moving.
"The Western Highway Duplication has dragged on for too long, local drivers are now much closer to having a safer and less congested highway." she said.
"Our community has been patient while this badly needed project faced delay after delay, we now look forward to the duplication works finally kicking off."
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