Henderson rejects highway investment criticism
CORANGAMITE federal member Sarah Henderson has roundly rejected a report that has criticised the amount of money invested into the Princes Highway between Geelong and Colac.
Last week, The Grattan Institute released the “Roads to Riches: better transport spending” report, which examined government spending on transport infrastructure over the past decade.
It states “too often, politics comes ahead of the public interest” and “too much has been spent on highways that are not especially important to the economy, but are popular with local voters”.
The 89-kilometre stretch of road between Geelong and Colac is used as a case study, noting $438 million had been spent on the road between 2005/06 and 2014/15, and the $185.5 million to ratio of an “exceptionally low” 0.08:1 – “well short community”. However, Ms Henderson said the report was “biased and city-centric” and the Grattan Institute “has got it badly wrong”.
“As the Liberal candidate, I am incredibly proud to have fought so hard to deliver the funding to duplicate this road.
“Princes Highway West is an incredibly important transport link which connects Melbourne, Geelong, Warrnambool and Portland to South Australia.
“The highway is used by over 350,000 people each year, which provides access to major tourist attractions such as the Great Ocean Road.”
She said duplicating the Princes Highway between Geelong and Colac was “vital infrastructure” for the region.
“This road is a major alternate route to the Great Ocean Road, which attracts 2.5 million visitors each year, and the centrepiece of our regional $2.1 billion tourism industry which supports 10,000 local jobs.
“It is amazing that the Grattan Institute did not mention the importance of the duplicated road to one