We’re upgrading the Western Highway between Ballarat and Stawell to get you where you need to be sooner and safer.

Overview

The duplication of the Western Highway between Buangor and Ararat will add an extra lane in each direction and vastly improve safety for communities in Western Victoria, providing a much-needed boost to the regional economy.

Current design

The approved alignment balances the needs of the community, with the need to improve safety for the more than 6000 people who use this road every day.

In February 2019, we agreed to significantly alter the design of the project to avoid two trees identified by some members of the Aboriginal community as being of significance. Additional design revisions made since will allow for a total of 16 trees which are of interest to some members of the Aboriginal community to be retained.

More information about this section of the Western Highway project can be found in the FAQs below.

The slider shows the existing highway and why an upgraded highway along this route was dismissed due to the potential environmental impact to Mt Langi Ghiran State Park. (Select the vertical white line to move the slider from left to right).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the latest with the Western Highway duplication?

Work is currently on hold pending the outcome of an ongoing proceeding in the Supreme Court of Victoria, following orders made by the Supreme Court in 2020.

We are not performing construction activities during this time, however crews are continuing to maintain the safety and security of the site.

In the ten years to January 2021, there have been 152 crashes on the Western Highway between Ballarat and Stawell, including 18 fatalities, and 94 people seriously injured, it is vital for the safety of the community that this road is duplicated.

However, it has become clear that the interests of all parties, in our view, are not met by the continuation of protracted, costly and legally complex litigation.

To that end we will seek to enter into a new Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) with the current Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) for the Project.

We are hopeful that this will provide a better path for cultural heritage management  for the Project to be resolved  respectfully and with certainty.

What consultation has there been with the local Aboriginal community?

We’ve been working with the Aboriginal community for several years, including Martang Pty Ltd as well as the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation (EMAC).

In every community there are a broad range of views, however EMAC is the formally recognised Traditional Owner group that represents the Djab Wurrung people. We have and continue to respect their cultural authority to speak for Djab Wurrung country.

What was the Victorian Ombudsman investigation and how has MRPV and the Aboriginal community responded?

The Ombudsman investigated the planning and delivery of the project, with particular regard to concerns raised about protection of sacred Aboriginal sites.

The Ombudsman fills an important independent role in ensuring the public sector deals with Victorian communities fairly and we appreciate her detailed attention to investigating concerns raised over the Western Highway Project.

You can read the Investigation Report on the Victorian Ombudsman website.

Why is the duplication needed?

The Western Highway is the major road link between Melbourne and Adelaide. Farming, grain production, regional tourism and a range of manufacturing services rely heavily on this highway.

More than 6000 vehicles travel the Western Highway, west of Ballarat each day, including 1500 trucks with this traffic expected to double by 2025.

We’ve been upgrading the highway between Burrumbeet and Stawell since 2013 and have duplicated 55km of highway between Ballarat and Buangor.

The safety of the travelling public is our priority.

In the ten years to January 2021, there have been 152 crashes on the Western Highway between Ballarat and Stawell, including 18 fatalities, and 94 people seriously injured, it is vital for the safety of the community that this road is duplicated.

The duplication of the highway will vastly improve safety for people in Victoria’s west.

Duplicating the highway has proven to reduce the number of accidents.

The previous completion date was 2020. What is the new completion date?

The 2020 completion date has now shifted in line with the delay to starting works.

The revised completion date will be subject to timing of the current legal proceedings and the completion of a new Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

Project benefits - Fact sheet

Choosing the project alignment - Fact sheet

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