SPEED UP ON SHEPP BYPASS
INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA ASKED TO MAKE BYPASS A PRIORITY
Infrastructure Australia has been asked to put the Goulburn Valley Highway Shepparton Bypass on its list of priority projects.
A submission, jointly prepared by State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed, Greater Shepparton City Council, Committee for Greater Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley Highway Shepparton Bypass Action Group, outlined the urgent need to fund and commence construction of Stage One of the Shepparton Bypass.
The submission highlighted the importance of starting the bypass to deal with the rapid development and expansion of Greater Shepparton and safety issues.
The Infrastructure Australia Priority List sets out the investment opportunities that can deliver nationally significant benefits, and listing would be a big step forward for the project.
Ms Sheed said the bypass would form part of the greater road network between Melbourne and Brisbane.
‘‘Our region has seen substantial growth in recent years with investment in health, education, rail and the arts,’’ Ms Sheed said.
‘‘This bypass has been a priority for our region for decades and its implementation would not only service our district but the transport capacity of the eastern states of Australia.’’
City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said the Shepparton Bypass was a nationally significant project, with $208 million in Australian Government funding already committed.
‘‘Greater Shepparton acts as a major food-bowl and centre for Australian agribusiness, with the combination of primary production and food manufacturing meaning the region serves as a major freight transport hub,’’ Cr O’Keeffe said.
‘‘With currently only one river crossing for heavy vehicles, the Peter Ross-Edwards Causeway, this will likely become even more of an issue into the future as our region’s freight task increases significantly. The bypass is the long-overdue solution.’’
The current priority is Stage One, a single-lane carriageway in each direction extending from Midland Hwy west of Mooroopna to Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton North — a total distance of more than 10 km.
The business case for the project is still to be released and neither the Victorian Government nor the Federal Government is prepared to release it publicly. Both say the other should announce the details.
The proposal submitted to Infrastructure Australia will now be assessed and considered at a board meeting later this year. Written feedback will then be provided before the final publication is released in February next year.