Commonwealth funds committed to the final stage of the Princes Highway duplication are a "far cry" from what's actually needed to finish the job, the Victorian government says.
Federal Gippsland MP Darren Chester says the commonwealth has delivered $132 million for the $165 million project, which will complete duplication between Traralgon and Sale, but is waiting on Victoria to put up its share.
“The federal government’s money is on the table and it is important that the state government gets on board and finishes the job. We know this project will save lives and boost productivity in the Gippsland region. I ask them to get on board and finish the job,” Mr Chester told ABC TV on Tuesday.
Mr Chester suggested the state Labor government was holding back funds for an announcement ahead of the November election, but given the highway’s importance as a transport corridor and freight route, and fatalities, the work needed to get finished.
But Victorian Roads Minister Luke Donnellan took aim at the federal contributions.
“The commonwealth have only put forward $10 million this financial year, a far cry from what is required to complete the duplication,” he said.
But he said the state and federal governments were working together on federal budget commitments to complete the project.
Seven of the nine stages are finished.
The Victorian government has put in $3 million for work on the final two sections, at Flynn and Kilmany, where pre-construction work is underway.