A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting to discuss plans being prepared for the duplication of the Midland Highway from Geelong to Bannockburn.
Currently, the route preferred by VicRoads is a duplication of the current road through the centre of Batesford.
That road is narrow and noisy given the use of air brakes by big trucks to manage the steep descent of the road. Heavy acceleration is then required to get up the other side.
The area is also home to sensitive parkland.
Having heard the concerns of Batesford residents, I took the matter to the Victorian Parliament.
I have asked the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, to advise VicRoads to consider other options for the road duplication, including Option 5 – a northern bypass of Batesford.
In essence, locals want the duplication away from the centre of their town.
In raising the matter, I was not prescriptive about what route should be considered and suggested the Minister shouldn’t be either in his instructions to VicRoads.
I think the Minister will find listening to locals a worthy thing to do – even if he does refer to country Victorians as ‘dingbats’.