The Victorian Government is building safer and more reliable roads across south western Victoria, with works getting underway on a $272 million package to improve routes across the region, funded as part of the Victorian Budget 2020/21.

The upgrades target the Great Ocean Road and its inland routes, as well as key roads which support the dairy industry in the south west.

Crews have started on $17.4 million worth of work on the Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain, ensuring the network is stronger for trucks and tractors travelling between local farms, depots and processing facilities.

Roads being targeted as part of work on the dairy routes include sections of Cobden-Warrnambool Road, Cobden-Stonyford Road, Cobden-Camperdown Road and the Princes Highway, which have all been identified as priority roads.

Crews are completing rebuilding and resurfacing upgrades to improve strength and longevity of the roads, while assessments will also be done to safeguard the integrity of bridges in the area. Upgrades to the Dairy Supply Chain are anticipated to be completed by mid-2021, weather permitting. Planning and development for future upgrades on dairy routes will also be a feature of the multi-million-dollar package.

The Government’s $140 million investment to improve the resilience of the Great Ocean Road and $115 million investment to upgrade inland roads connecting with the Princes Highway are set to roll out over coming months.

Crews will be doing bridge strengthening, road rebuilding and geotechnical works at sites along the Great Ocean Road including Orchard Creek, Princetown and Gellibrand River, with additional works being done on inland routes like Cobden-Port Campbell Road.

The improvements will ensure the Great Ocean Road and the surrounding connections can support the region’s $1.5 billion tourism industry, as well as local freight operators and communities right across south western Victoria.