Coun­cil wants bridge sta­tus talks

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY ROBERT MUIR

The new Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil wants to talk with Moira Shire Coun­cil, and the NSW and Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ments re­gard­ing the cur­rent sta­tus of the plan­ning for the new Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Traf­fic Bridge.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil dis­cussed the topic at yes­ter­day’s monthly meet­ing fol­low­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion from In­terim Gen­eral Man­ager Adrian But­ler for coun­cil to hold talks with au­thor­i­ties about the plan­ning stage, on the mo­tion of Crs Bron­wyn Thomas and Norm Wales.

The mo­tion also in­cludes, on the sug­ges­tion of Cr Paul Miegel, that coun­cil hold talks with Moira Shire “with­out prej­u­dice” re­gard­ing the traf­fic route.

Both Vic Roads and NSW’s Roads and Mar­itime Ser­vices, to­gether with the two state gov­ern­ments, have opted for the grey route and are plan­ning ac­cord­ingly.

“The VicRoads web­site re­veals plan­ning is well un­der­way for the grey route, and many per­ceived ad­van­tages of this pro­posed route are on their web­site,” Mr But­ler said.

“It is be­lieved plan­ning and in­ves­ti­ga­tions are well un­der­way for this route, to pre­pare the En­vi­ron­men­tal Ef­fects State­ment (EES) Re­fer­ral.”

The EES re­fer­ral on the plan­ning study to the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa- ter and Plan­ning (DELWP) was to be sub­mit­ted by VicRaods in Fe­bru­ary.

The grey route is the route closer to the ex­ist­ing bridge, the green route closer to the rail line over Lake Mul­wala near the weir bridge which is sched­uled to close in 2020.

The last elected coun­cil cov­er­ing Mul­wala (Corowa Shire Coun­cil) unan­i­mously en­dorsed the grey route af­ter re­ports from the state au­thor­i­ties. That unan­i­mous sup­port in­cluded its ex­pe­ri­enced and now re­tired plan­ning di­rec­tor Bob Parr, for­mer Gen­eral Man­ager Bruce Cor­co­ran, Mayor Fred Long­mire, Deputy Mayor Paul Miegel, and Crs Gail Law and Norm Wales.

The last Corowa Shire Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion in 2014 prior to amal­ga­ma­tion with Urana Shire Coun­cil to be­come Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil on May 12, 2016 con­firmed its sup­port for the grey route, not to take own­er­ship of the old (ex­ist­ing) bridge due to the cost and that if Moira and Corowa coun­cils could not agree on the same route, the de­ci­sion be made by the two road au­thor­i­ties in NSW and Vic­to­ria, and that coun­cil sup­port their de­ci­sion.

“The new coun­cil met with Vic Roads and RMS in Mul­wala in Novem­ber 2017. Coun­cil was pro­vided with in­for­ma­tion and a pre­sen­ta­tion was given,” Mr But­ler said. “There was no for­mal res­o­lu­tion as this was a work­shop.”

At yes­ter­day’s meet­ing in Corowa, Cr Long­mire strongly de­fended the ex­ist­ing res­o­lu­tion by the for­mer Corowa Shire Coun­cil.

“I ab­so­lutely sup­port our po­si­tion,” he said. “Don’t go away from this cham­ber say­ing we’re go­ing to change.”

Cr Long­mire said all au­thor­i­ties agreed on the grey route ex­cept Moira Shire Coun­cil.

Cr Gail Law sup­ported Cr Long­mire’s stance, say­ing coun­cil chose the grey route to en­able less dis­rup­tion for Mul­wala ratepay­ers.

“It would be just ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous hold­ing up the start of the bridge,” she said.

Cr Shaun Whitechurch said there may have been very good rea­sons for the Corowa Shire Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to sup­port the grey route.

“But ev­ery town do­ing new road­works is by­pass­ing a town,” he said.

“You have to look to 100 years, 60 or 70 years ahead, the by­pass would be bet­ter.”

Cr Long­mire said the Albury/ Wodonga “by­pass” runs right through the mid­dle of the towns, la­belling it “mag­nif­i­cent.”

Cr Thomas said talks with Moira Shire present an op­por­tu­nity for the new Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil.

Moira Shire Coun­cil wants the green route, es­pe­cially fol­low­ing a plebiscite it held in Septem­ber 2017 which showed out of a 56.5% par­tic­i­pa­tion, 3,159 peo­ple favoured the green route and 969 wanted the grey route.

An En­vi­ron­men­tal Ef­fects State­ment re­fer­ral for the new bridge plan­ning study was to be sub­mit­ted by VicRoads in Fe­bru­ary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.