Minister for Education and Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan MP, announced a number of exciting projects to come out of the recent Federal Budget announcement in Stawell on Friday.
These projects included $360 million towards the completion of the Western Highway Duplication to Stawell, $5 million towards the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL), and $50,000 towards the Stawell Gateway Enhancement Project.
Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire Council, Cr Kevin Erwin said, “It was great to have Minister Tehan here in Stawell to announce these significant projects for our region.”
“The funding for the physics laboratory was particularly great news, and while we will continue to push for additional funding to complete the project, this funding will mean that we can get this exciting initiative underway later this year.”
The funding for SUPL will now allow the fitting out of the underground laboratory, transforming Stawell into the most advanced location in the world for cutting-edge research into detecting highly elusive dark matter.
The SUPL developments could have a significant contribution to our understanding of the nature of the universe, as well as driving economic development for the region and inspiring innovation in the shire’s schools and broader community.
The Western Highway duplication has been a major priority for the region, with many people travelling large distances regularly on the highway, with the already completed sections of the highway having helped reduce the road toll.
The duplication of the highway will also deliver improved travel times and lower transport costs for agricultural freight.
The Stawell Gateway Enhancement Project delivers the strategic planning needed to properly plan for the completion of the duplication works so that the local community can take full advantage of the upcoming opportunities, and support economic development in the Stawell CBD as a result.
The project will involve consulting with and responding to all major stakeholders by integrating their interests and present analysis and options for implementation that are suitable for public consultation.