Extra $157 million to upgrade the Western Highway to Ararat

The Australian and Victorian Governments are continuing to deliver better infrastructure in Victoria’s west by announcing funding to continue the upgrade of the Western Highway.

  • $157.3 million investment to upgrade Western Hwy between Buangor and Ararat
  • Upgrade to complete next 12 kilometres of Western Hwy
  • Victorian Coalition Government working in partnership with the Australian Government to build better Victorian roads

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and Premier Denis Napthine today announced an extra $157.3 million to continue the duplication of the Western Highway between Buangor and Ararat.

“The Australian Government has allocated a further $97.3 million to continue the upgrade of the Western Highway towards South Australia,” Mr Truss said.

“As the principal road link between Melbourne and Adelaide, the Western Highway supports interstate trade, including agriculture, manufacturing and service activities.”

“Improving this road will reduce fuel costs for commuters, tourists and the freight industry,” Mr Truss said.

Dr Napthine said this project will make it safer and more efficient for Victorians to travel between Ararat and Ballarat.

“With works underway on the highway between Beaufort and Buangor and a contract signed for the Buangor Bypass, this funding will complete the next 12 kilometre section between Buangor and Ararat,”
“More than 6,000 vehicles travel along the Western Highway each day and around 30 per cent of these are heavy commercial vehicles.”

“Continuing to separate the highway with a wide central median will allow for safe overtaking movements and will greatly reduce the risk of head-on collisions,” Dr Napthine said.

Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the project will help address road safety issues.
“Sadly there have been numerous crashes on the Western Highway in the past seven years, including more than 10 fatalities,” Mr Tehan said.

“Upgrading the highway to two lanes in each direction will allow vehicles to run at more consistent safe speeds between Ararat and Ballarat.”

Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley and Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner said today’s announcement was great news for the local economy.

“The Western Highway upgrade is supporting 480 jobs, so this extra funding will ensure the
economic benefits of the project continue to flow to western Victoria,” Ms Staley said.

“With work about to commence on the Buangor Bypass, this is a timely announcement and great
news for communities and businesses along the highway,” Mr Turner said.

Tenders for construction of the project between Buangor and Ararat will be called in 2015.
The Australian Government and Victorian Government are investing $662.3 million in the Western
Highway upgrade. The Australian Government is contributing $97.3 million to the project between
Buangor and Ararat and the Victorian Government is contributing $60 million.