“Green route makes sense” – Nationals leader
The new bridge route crossing for Yarrawonga Mulwala was high on the agenda when the leader of the Victorian National Party Peter Walsh met with Federation and Moira Shires representatives and mayors last Thursday, August 16.
Organised by local member Tim McCurdy, Mr Walsh said during his visit it was important the right decision was made in the best interest of all communities on both sides of the border.
“We must get the right decision that is suit- able for the next 100 years,” Mr Walsh told the Yarrawonga Chronicle after the meeting.
“It took fifty years for Echuca to get their bridge finally built, but here, we can’t wait that long.”
Mr Walsh said the green route (alongside the existing railway line) makes sense in the long term.
“With the decision by Goulburn Murray Water to close the weir bridge in 2020 along with the current deteriorated state of the other bridge and the projected growth of the towns, this bridge needs to be built sooner rather than later.
“We would like to see the green route. It was our original decision but was changed after the last election by the current government.
“We will be having Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure David Hodgett visit here soon to have a closer look at the issue,” he said.
In January VicRoads Acting North East Regional Director, Steve McCallum said the important Environmental Effects Statement (EES) referral for the grey route was to be submitted to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) in February.
At the time NSW Roads and Maritime representatives were conducting ground surveys on areas around ClubMulwala and a private property where it is believed an aboriginal burial site may be situated. Local indigenous groups were invited to witness the survey works.
Community feedback received in 2017, alongside other technical information, has been used by VicRoads to prepare and had subsequently delayed the EES referral from October, 2017 until February this year.
According to VicRoads the information had caused adjustments to the planning footprint for the Murray Valley Highway connection. The additional time taken to prepare the EES has allowed the ecology and heritage information to be updated to include the amended footprint.
Leader of the Victorian National Party Peter Walsh (pictured centre) with members of the community at the Terminus Hotel last Thursday evening.