Mr TILLEY (Benambra) — (12 454) I wish to raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and the action I seek is to be given a comprehensive briefing on any and all proposed works for the intersection of McKoy Street, the Old Barny road and the Hume Freeway in West Wodonga. It is two years, almost to the day in fact, since speed restrictions were put in place on the Hume Freeway at the intersection of McKoy Street and — getting rid of the local colloquialisms — Old Barnawartha Road on the southern outskirts of Wodonga.
Now, other than at times of roadworks, I do not know of any section of the Hume Freeway, particularly in Victoria, with such restrictions, with the exception of when you get down to the Kalkallo Hotel, where not so long ago we saw an individual decide to take a shortcut and drive into the front of the pub. Certainly that is under repair, but that is significantly different to our regional centres and rural areas where the road reserve is quite significantly separated from those speed restrictions. I have not seen anywhere else where you will see a reduction in speed from 110 kilometres per hour immediately down to 80 kilometres per hour. So the speed restrictions that are in place have been there for the last two years, from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., and I am approached constantly by locals and visitors to the region who are astonished by that restriction.
For anybody in this place who has taken the opportunity, whether they be on their way to Sydney or any other place, they will certainly identify with that section of road as they approach the border of Victoria and New South Wales.
Mr Edbrooke — It needs to be looked at.
Mr TILLEY — Absolutely, and I am asking the minister to actually have a damn good look at that. I am looking for a comprehensive briefing, not one of these one short, stern ones where they fluff you off, because this has been going on for two years now and the minister has been given a fair opportunity to rely on his department, VicRoads, to investigate. When it first came out VicRoads asked the question: is this the right location for an interchange or is another location a better one? It committed to looking at other interchanges as well. It is about how Wodonga interfaces with the freeway and making that work.
We have got a local government area there, the City of Wodonga, that is working to grow the region, and certainly there is a flow-on effect of not knowing how the freeway and the interchanges with the freeway will impact Wodonga. It has an ever bigger impact when you have a heavy vehicle-reliant city where you have a number of significant contributors to the road freight task in our state. There is a flow-on effect from, for example, Melrose Drive and Sangsters Road. Certainly our local government authorities cannot go into great planning in regard to that until VicRoads and the responsible minister address those concerns.
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