Com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion “frus­trat­ing”

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAR­RYD BARCA

Ruther­glen lo­cal and for­mer In­digo Shire coun­cil­lor Roberta Horne is frus­trated that the re-route Ruther­glen project has dragged on for so long.

VicRoads re­ceived $2 mil­lion dol­lars from both the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments equat­ing to $4 mil­lion dol­lars for the en­tire project de­signed to en­cour­age heavy ve­hi­cles to avoid Main Street Ruther­glen and ease con­ges­tion.

An Ori­gin and Des­ti­na­tion study un­der­taken late last year was set to be the fi­nal plan­ning study be­fore works could get un­der way.

Cam­eras and traf­fic coun­ters were set up along Main Street Ruther­glen so that VicRoads could gather data for the heavy ve­hi­cle al­ter­na­tive route.

But af­ter col­lat­ing data re­sults, in­stead of an­nounc­ing the al­ter­na­tive route and the ap­pro­pri­ate works to go with it, the project was again de­layed so that two com­mu­nity drop-in ses­sions could be held to al­low the pub­lic to view the data that was col­lected.

“I know they put aside $600k of the $4 mil­lion for the Ori­gin and Des­ti­na­tion re­port so it’s just frus­trat­ing that they (VicRoads) keep on find­ing it nec­es­sary to cut into the money for even more con­sul­ta­tion,” Ms Horne told The Free Press.

“In 2016 Min­is­ter Ch­ester asked for a plan and the VicRoads rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Nathan Mul­hane, told us that we ‘had to get con­sen­sus on an ex­ist­ing road net­work that just needed to have the in­fra­struc­ture up­graded’. That is ex­actly what our com­mu­nity has done.

“This ex­tra work is erod­ing our grant money.”

Ms Horne, who served on coun­cil for four years and has lived in Ruther­glen for 20, said she found the in­for­ma­tion at the com­mu­nity drop-in ses­sions “con­fus­ing”.

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