A call for the State Government to commit cash for safety improvements at two dangerous Mount Martha intersections has sparked a sharp exchange between a Peninsula MP and a council candidate.
Flinders federal Liberal MP Greg Hunt said Federal funding was already available for the long-overdue upgrades, adding: “With Victoria still yet to decide on their Budget day, I urge the Victorian Government to commit to these projects to get work started.” This triggered the online exchange between Nepean state Labor MP Chris Brayne and veteran Mornington Peninsula Shire councillor Antonella Celi, who is seeking re-election.
Responding to a comment from a resident, Ms Celi wrote that the council was waiting on the State Government to match Federal funding for the upgrades: “That commitment is on the table from the Feds . . . up to the state to do their bit to make it reality for the community.”
That drew a stinging response from Mr Brayne, who accused Ms Celi of trying to spark “political battles”. He countered: “We’ve been waiting for this for 20 years. Greg makes a promise at the 2019 Federal election to deliver it and you’re blaming the state for being the hold-up? It’s going through the business case at the behest of the Federal Government at the moment!”
Mornington Peninsula Magazine recently reported that progress on upgrading the intersections – at Nepean Highway and Uralla Rd, and Nepean Highway and Forest Drive – appeared to have stalled despite the Federal Government’s $10 million pledge. The council indicated last year that it was working on plans for roundabouts at both intersections, with each estimated to cost about $10 million. Senior council officials have described the intersections as “notoriously high-risk locations” and said they were working with VicRoads on roundabout designs.