“Green route makes sense” – Na­tion­als leader

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JARED LOUGHNAN

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.

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