Shepparton News

SPEED UP ON SHEPP BYPASS

INFRASTRUC­TURE AUSTRALIA ASKED TO MAKE BYPASS A PRIORITY

- By DARREN LINTON

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.

 ??  ?? Long-awaited: The Shepparton Bypass would help remove big trucks from the city centre. Residents have been waiting more than 20 years for a sod to be turned.
Long-awaited: The Shepparton Bypass would help remove big trucks from the city centre. Residents have been waiting more than 20 years for a sod to be turned.

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