Sturt needs upgrade now, MP urges

MP calls for action to upgrade Sturt Highway, fearing it cannot cope with growing freight task

By Michael House | February 5, 2010

Governments are being urged to invest more in Victoria's Sturt Highway, with an MP fearing the route can not cope with the growing freight task.

Mildura MP Peter Crisp this week asked Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas to siphon funds into the network to add extra passing lanes.

Crisp says there is a real risk of more traffic accidents unless something is done.

"As the amount of freight increases [on the Sturt Highway] and, I hope, domestic tourism grows there is a need for passing lanes on the Sturt Highway," Crisp says.

"The Mallee country is undulating, not flat, and safe passing of traffic can be difficult. We haven’t had any serious accidents yet, but I think there could be as the freight task gets bigger."

While Pallas' office is yet to return ATN's calls, the Rudd Government has flagged funding for the Sturt as part of a funding package in the coming years.

"Further funding for the Sturt Highway will be considered as part of next five year roads program which begins in 2014/15," a spokesman for the Federal Minster for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says.

He says $155 million has been invested in the road over the last three years.

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