A lack of forward thinking for a major south-west wind farm has resulted in surrounding roads being be torn to shreds, Transport Minister Terry Mulder has claimed.
Mr Mulder met with Roads to Ruin campaign director Jodi Fry last week to discuss concerns raised by the group of south-west freight truck operators.
The Transport Minister revealed discussions between operators of the billion-dollar Macarthur wind farm and VicRoads management would take place to work out a way for the proponents to make a financial contribution to the upgrade of the local road network.
Mr Mulder said consultation with the wind farm operators had been productive but believed the problem could have been easily avoided.
“Macarthur wind farm is one of the biggest of its kind in Australia yet the previous state government failed to properly plan for the impact of development,” the Polwarth MP said.
“I understand the developers of the Macarthur wind farm have acted in good faith and understand their responsibility to local safety. Having said that, this issue is harder to deal with retrospectively.”
Mr Mulder said the federal government was a strong supporter of renewable energy in general and the Macarthur wind farm specifically. But he said Canberra needed to contribute its fair share to bring the region’s roads up to its previous standard.
Roads to Ruin representatives met with Mr Mulder and VicRoads regional director William Tieppo on Friday. Mrs Fry said the Hawkesdale-Macarthur Road as well as the Heywood-Woolsthorpe Road were the most egregious examples of unsafe thoroughfares within the south-west.
“What we need now is for the state cabinet to understand the need to set aside funding for roads in the south-west because it is a major safety issue,” Mrs Fry said.
“Terry said he would put the case strongly to his cabinet colleagues so we’re keen to see what the outcome is.”
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