A re-elected Coalition Government will provide $3 million to establish a new heavy vehicle rest area at Moe and traffic signals at the Bass Highway and Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road intersection.

Liberal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent made the announcement with Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester in Moe on Friday.

Mr Broadbent said the new rest area would provide eight bays and a decoupling space to help heavy vehicle operators travelling the Princes Highway east to reduce fatigue and improve safety.

“More than 11,200 heavy vehicles travel the freight route each day, including 140 B-Doubles, and there has been 24 heavy vehicle crashes in the eastbound direction over a five year period,” Mr Broadbent said.

“The new rest area will provide a space for heavy vehicle operators to get some well-earned rest, helping to reduce fatigue, and it’s expected that around 100 heavy vehicles will pull-in for a break every 24 hours.”

Mr Broadbent said installing traffic signals at the Bass Highway and Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road intersection would improve safety at the primary freight access point to the commercial precinct.

“For some time, heavy vehicles have been using an alternate route rather than facing a delay at this intersection,” Mr Broadbent said.

“A signalised intersection will improve traffic flow which is critical for the 1390 heavy vehicles that use the intersection every day, and it will also increase safety for all road users.”

Mr Chester said the projects were another example of the Coalition delivering safer and more efficient roads for heavy vehicle operators travelling through McMillan to Gippsland and beyond.

He said construction on the new rest area would likely begin in the second half of 2016 with the signalised intersection works to commence in mid-2017.

“The Coalition is committed to working with the heavy vehicle industry and getting on with the job of providing safer and more productive freight network,” Mr Chester said.

“A competitive freight industry supports jobs and growth in our primary industries and there are flow-on safety benefits from these upgrades for all road users.”

Mr Chester said today’s announcement is in addition to a recent $5 million commitment from the Coalition to carry out 12 local road upgrades in McMillan.

“Over the past two weeks the Coalition has committed $8 million to 14 projects throughout McMillan all aimed at improving road safety,” Mr Chester said.

“There were 1,242 road deaths in Australia in the 12 months to February 2016. This is far too many and we must continue the campaign to make our roads safer.”

The newly announced projects will be carried out as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme and will be jointly funded by the Victorian Government.

The Coalition has committed a total of $97 million for projects under Round Five of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme.

Funding for the programme was also extended as part of the 2016/17 Budget, ensuring that $40 million a year continues to flow and deliver projects on an annual basis from 2019/20.