A busy intersection in proximity to a new “super secondary school” in central Shepparton will get a major upgrade as part of the Federal Government’s $2 billion Road Safety Program.

The roundabout at the intersection of Knight and Hawdon streets, Shepparton, will be replaced by traffic lights after Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, today announced the Federal Government would invest more than $4 million of funding for the project.

Mr Drum also announced that $500,000 of federal funding would go towards improving road safety around Murchison Primary School and St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Cobram. This includes the installation of electronic speed limit signs.

“The timing couldn’t be better for funding to flow for crucial road safety improvements in Nicholls,” Mr Drum said.

“This vital funding is not only providing a much-needed boost to local jobs and the economy, it is delivering life-saving upgrades to ensure road users stay safe on our roads.”

The Knight/Hawdon street intersection is nearby the Greater Shepparton Secondary College, which is currently under construction and due to open for the 2022 school year.

It is expected that well in excess of 2000 students will attend GSSC once it’s operational, leading to heavy traffic and the potential for congestion.

“The concept of bringing four schools into one has led to many questions on how the traffic can be handled, this project assists with that,” Mr Drum said.

“It’s also a junction that’s close to Notre Dame and St Brendan’s schools so we know that part of Shepparton will be very busy every morning and evening.

“There will be challenges for town planners and the school will need to build capacity for buses, drop-off zones and parking. It won’t be simple or easy, but the Federal Government is trying to lessen the impact on our local roads.”

The Federal Government has allocated $4.026 million of funding for the Shepparton intersection upgrade, and $504,000 for the school upgrades. The Victorian State Government will respectively contribute $1.006 million and $126,000.

The Federal Government’s Road Safety Program funding is subject to “use it or lose it” provisions, which requires states and territories to use their allocated funds within a timeframe, or the funds can be reallocated to projects in other jurisdictions.

The three projects in Nicholls are all expected to be completed by July this year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Federal Government was ensuring this road safety package rolls out quickly, saving lives and reducing injuries.

“These projects were selected based on the safety risk at each of the locations, with the aim of reducing road trauma in both regional and metropolitan areas,” Mr McCormack said.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility right through all levels of government to all of us who use the road, which is why the Federal Government is investing heavily in road safety upgrades across Australia.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said road safety was a key priority for the Federal Government and this investment would provide a boost to the economy while ensuring Australians get home sooner and safer.

“Making our roads safer is a critical component of our work to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads and move towards achieving vision zero,” Mr Buchholz said.

“Projects are already underway through the $500 million Targeted Road Safety COVID stimulus package and this additional funding complements that work, resulting in an even greater roll out of improved infrastructure and roads right across the nation.”

ENDS

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