Federal Budget funds important intersection upgrade for Greater Shepparton but lacks funding for future growth

Despite funding announced for an important intersection in town, Greater Shepparton City Council’s Mayor, Councillor Shane Sali, said Tuesday night’s Federal Budget missed an opportunity to provide much needed funding to support future regional growth.

In Summary

  • Federal Budget allocates $2.2 million for Goulburn Valley Highway and Graham Street intersection upgrade in Shepparton
  • Mayor Cr Shane Sali highlights missed opportunity for further funding to support future regional growth
  • Progress noted on Stage 3 of Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade, with $11.4 million added to existing commitment
  • Concerns raised over lack of funding for major arterial roads and intersections in Greater Shepparton

The 2024/2025 Federal budget sees $2.2 million committed to the upgrade of the intersection at Goulburn Valley Highway and Graham Street in Shepparton, which includes a signalised intersection to improve traffic flow in and around Goulburn Valley Health. Works are expected to commence later this year, with expected completion in late 2025.

This project was initially funded through the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, along with State Government funding, which was a $160 million road funding program to be spent between Tocumwal and Seymour. However, approximately 80 per cent of this funding was scrapped by the Federal Government.

“The Federal Government have since clearly recognised the need for an upgrade at this intersection to improve traffic flow in and around the hospital, which is pleasing to see. This is a busy area which sees a high volume of traffic each day,” Cr Sali said.

“This upgrade will help improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists to Goulburn Valley Health which is a welcome addition. We are pleased to see this back on the table and look forward to seeing works get underway later this year.”

Cr Sali said there were several other busy intersections along the Goulburn Valley Highway which need immediate attention, including the intersection of Hawkins Street and the intersection of Wanganui Road and Ford Road.

“Greater Shepparton is still desperately lacking in funding for the region’s major arterial roads and intersections. There is currently no further construction funding for the Goulburn Valley Highway Corridor, which is a National Highway Corridor with only $3 million allocated for development and scoping. This makes it impossible for this vital project to be undertaken,” he said.

“We also saw $208 million cut for the Goulburn Valley Highway Shepparton Bypass in the Infrastructure Investment Review last November, which was another blow for our region.”

Tuesday night’s Federal Budget also saw further money allocated to Stage 3 of the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade, with $11.4 million added to the $320 million already committed by the Australian Government. Stage 3 of the Shepparton Line Upgrade will enable faster and more frequent services including track upgrades between Seymour and Shepparton to allow trains to travel faster and a further 1.1km extension of the Murchison East crossing loop, while improving the ride quality, reliability and resilience of the line.

“We have already seen progress in the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade through Stages 1 and 2 which saw 10 extra services a week between Melbourne and Shepparton and VLocity trains travelling to and from Shepparton for the first time,” Cr Sali said.

“Council also welcome the announcement of $300 energy rebates for all households, a $3 billion cut in student debts, $1 billion to get homes built sooner in regional Victoria, and a new five year National Agreement on social housing and homelessness.”

Despite these small wins, Cr Sali said an opportunity was missed to further strengthen the economy of regional cities, including Greater Shepparton, which in turn would encourage sustainable growth and maximise regional liveability.

“Greater Shepparton is missing out on accessing Federal funding due to the inability to obtain co-contributions following the Victorian Government scrapping the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund. Without this, there is no pathway for future projects in regional Victoria beyond the existing pipeline currently under construction,” he said.

“Council were hoping to see an announcement regarding successful applications for the Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program. To date there hasn’t been any awarding of funding via this program. Council was also hoping to receive funding via the Growing Regions Program to facilitate much needed repairs for the Shepparton Sports Stadium and VISY, however this also did not eventuate.

“Local infrastructure projects such as this are a vital part of any regional community. We will now continue to work with and advocate to the Federal Government to ensure Greater Shepparton is not left behind and receives the funding it needs to support the continued growth of our region for future generations.”


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