This morning the Committee for Gippsland launched a campaign to lock in funding commitments for a business case and construction of the Traralgon Bypass.

The Committee for Gippsland has advocated for the construction of a Traralgon Bypass since 2011. The Traralgon Bypass is one of the only major remaining priorities out of the Committee for Gippsland’s 2013 Gippsland Freight Infrastructure Master Plan not to be funded.

“Traralgon is the largest remaining town in Gippsland not to have a bypass. Especially during peak traffic periods, not having a bypass means Traralgon has a significant level of traffic congestion with trucks and cars travelling through the town. This is a safety concern for pedestrians and cyclists, and a big handbrake on efficiency and productivity for the big volumes of Gippsland road freight being moved in and out of the region,” said Committee for Gippsland CEO Mary Aldred.

“A Traralgon Bypass would open up opportunities for more tourists through to East Gippsland, and provide efficiency dividends for products coming to and from West Gippsland,” added Ms Aldred.

Local business operator and resident Brenton Wight from Soloman’s Flooring, local trader Jim Lamb from Coffee Corner in Traralgon, along with Nola Bransgrove OAM from Branstrans in Traralgon, Harry Rijs Chairman of Committee for Gippsland and non-executive director of Patties Foods in Bairnsdale participated in the launch this morning, and all spoke about the local safety and traffic congestion challenges the status quo presents, as well as the productivity and efficiency dividends a bypass would provide.

The Let’s Get Gippsland Going project by the Committee for Gippsland will consult with local Traralgon traders to better understand concerns that they may have about a bypass, collect feedback from local businesses and residents who have safety concerns about not having a bypass, and seek input from transport businesses and producers in the region about the efficiency dividends a bypass would represent. The project will also present a cost benefit comparison with bypasses in other regions, to provide a before and after scenario to local economic impact, and work with local government and business groups in other regions who have had bypasses constructed.

The Committee for Gippsland would welcome feedback from businesses, community groups and residents in the region as part of this project. Businesses and residents interested in providing feedback to the project can contact the Committee for Gippsland via info@gipps.com.au or on 5623 3219.

The findings will be used to press VicRoads and the Victorian Government to commit funds to develop a business case and construction of a Traralgon Bypass, which the Committee for Gippsland believes should be followed by a Sale Bypass.

Launch of Let’s Get Gippsland Moving in Traralgon with Brenton Wight from Soloman’s Flooring Traralgon, CEO of Committee for Gippsland Mary Aldred, Nola Bransgrove OAM from Branstrans, Committee for Gippsland Chairman and Patties Foods non-executive director Harry Rijs, and Jim Lamb from Coffee Corner Traralgon out of shot.