The notorious McKoy Street-Old Barnawartha Road intersection with the Hume Freeway is set for an upgrade thanks to a new Morrison Government commitment of $64 million.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government would provide the funding required to fast-track the planning and design of the upgrade, and kickstart construction.

The Prime Minister said improving the intersection was crucial to getting local motorists and freight operators home sooner and safer.

“Our record and our plan are focused on backing the upgrades to improve our major highways and local roads,” the Prime Minister said.

“Steve Martin has listened to his local community who have long been concerned about the safety of the current McKoy Street intersection with the Hume Freeway, and has strongly advocated for a serious commitment to get this project underway.

“You need to be a member of a government to deliver results for your community. My Government can be trusted to deliver on a $64 million commitment and continue to invest in Indi because we have a plan for a stronger economy and can manage the budget without forcing new taxes on hardworking families.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Nationals’ Leader Michael McCormack said the project would make the Hume Freeway safer and boost productivity.

“This investment is yet another part of the Liberal and Nationals’ vision to get people home sooner and safer, no matter where they live,” Mr McCormack said.

“The upgrade will increase efficiency, productivity and improve the supply chain, which is so important for the local community who use this intersection every day.

“By making our transport network more efficient, local businesses have more money to invest in their operations, creating more jobs and providing a vital shot in the arm for the agriculture and small business, which are so important to Wodonga, Northern Victoria and Southern New South Wales.”

Liberal candidate for Indi Steve Martin said the intersection to the west of Wodonga, was well-known to local motorists and freight operators as a dangerous black spot where significant accidents and near misses have occurred.

“This has been a notorious section of the freeway as you approach Wodonga for far too long,” Mr Martin said.

“Safety concerns have only been exacerbated after the State Government took a decision to lower the speed limit through the intersection.

“Currently, it’s unsafe for trucks who need to move across the freeway and are forced to encounter vehicles travelling at varying speeds heading towards and away from Wodonga.

“Improvements to the crash history have been made in recent times but there are still far too many near misses.

“If elected, I will be pushing the State Government to utilise the funding that we have put on the table to deliver the upgrade as soon as possible.”

The Nationals candidate for Indi Mark Byatt said all road users would welcome this great announcement, noting it was unacceptable to have an 80kmh stretch on an important national freeway such as the Hume.

“I have raised community concerns about this intersection with the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, several times,” Mr Byatt said.

“Something is fundamentally wrong to have a speed restriction of 80 kilometres, that’s not what a national corridor is all about.

“This investment will benefit all road users, make this stretch of road safer and more efficient, enabling local businesses to get their produce to interstate and overseas markets.

“With regional Australia producing 70 per cent of Australia’s exports a health and growing regional economy is good for all Australians.”

Early estimates for a safety solution had been estimated at around $80 million and $64 million represents an 80 per cent commitment to the total cost.

The Morrison Government’s investment will support the Hume Freeway Access Improvement Planning Study which is currently being undertaken by the State Government.

The $64 million investment into the McKoy Street-Old Barnawatha Road intersection with the Hume Freeway comes on top of the Morrison Government’s existing transport infrastructure commitments in Indi, including:

  • $235 million to upgrade the North East Rail Line;
  • $8 million for a Fast Rail Business Case between Albury and Melbourne;
  • $4 million to upgrade the Great Alpine Road between Wangaratta and Cobungra;
  • $4 million for the Kiewa Valley Highway upgrade;
  • $3.8 million for Stage 1 and 2 upgrade of the Shelley-Walwa upgrade;
  • $2 million for the Rutherglen Heavy Vehicle Alternative Route;
  • $1.95 million for the upgrade of the Mansfield Heavy Vehicle Bypass; and
  • $840,000 for local bridge upgrades.

Indi will also benefit from the Morrison Government’s historic $9.3 billion investment in the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.