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Push for update ageing Warragul and Drouin bypass to better serve Baw Baw Shire fast growth
Local community, business and industry support is building behind efforts to secure funding to improve Drouin and Warragul aging arterial road network.
Baw Baw Shire is one of the fastest-growing regions in Victoria, with demand for use of its main roads growing exponentially every year. By 2035, the region's population is expected to approach 100,000 fuelling even more reason to start planning now for a major overhaul of the network.
In addition to traditional lobbying efforts, council has introduced other innovative tactics, including an online forum last month to hear industry views and garner further support
Making travelling safer
With the state budget on the horizon, Baw Baw Shire Council has been building partnerships with local business, industry and community stakeholders in a joint lobbying effort asking the State Government to allocate $3 million for Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) to undertake design work to address the deficiencies of the State-managed roads that run through Drouin and Warragul.
The aim is to minimise heavy vehicles from town centres and make travelling within Drouin and Warragul safer and more convenient for residents, while providing more efficient transport routes for business and industry. "Traffic and congestion on the main roads through our town centres is putting the brakes on local business and industry, and impacting the liveability and safety of our residents," says Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Michael Leaney.
"Few people realise that these vital roads are not owned by the council. They are State-managed roads. But that doesn't mean we're going to sit back and do nothing. We're working with the community and local businesses to make our voices heard, asking the state government to allocate $3 million in the upcoming budget to RRV so that they can undertake the design works needed for a fit-for-purpose arterial road network that can cope with the level of growth we're experiencing." Mayor Leaney said.
Coping with demands
Food & Fibre Gippsland are among the industry stakeholders putting their support behind the efforts following that forum. "The situation with transport challenges through Drouin and Warragul is only going to increase," says Food & Fibre Gippsland CEO Nicola Pero.
"Effective and efficient arterial road networks are core to success for industry competitiveness. And then there's the added consideration of compounded safety issues associated with industrial transport and residential traffic sharing busy road networks in regional towns. Smart planning and arterial road network redesign to cope with demand needs to be occurring now, not later." CEO Pero added.
An online community forum is also planned for coming weeks, which will be live streamed via social media to engage as many people as possible
Community support for the solution
Community promotion via social media has also attracted strong community interest which will be followed up by an information stand at Farm World from Thursday 24 March to Saturday 26 March. Representatives will be on hand from 11am to 3pm each day to hear community views, provide information and share resources to help people get involved.
"The support of the community and local businesses will be crucial in getting this over the line," says Cr Leaney. "The more voices we have coming together, the harder we are to ignore. We've made it easy for anyone who cares to put their support behind this - we have templated letters of support available and lots of handy resources to share to help interested businesses and residents to learn more and get involved with the push." Mayor Leaney concluded.
To learn more visit Warragul and Drouin Bypass - The road to a better future for Baw Baw we page.
Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.
Published by: firstname.lastname@example.org
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