The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, is calling for people to join him in a campaign to stop the closure of a road vital to local farmers – and people trying to cut travel time between major hubs in the region between Shepparton and Echuca.
Mr Walsh said in a letter to residents, Regional Roads Victoria projects leader Mark Simons said: “We worked closely with Campaspe Shire and the closure of access at Trevaskis Rd has been agreed as the best solution to create a safe intersection”.
He said the problem with that is nobody else was told about it – until the proposal was signed off.
“And even then, the letter RRV letterboxed to everyone in the area was wrong, announcing the road would be closed where it joins the Murray Valley Hwy near Wyuna,” Mr Walsh said.
“When in fact the closure will be at the intersection of Trevaskis and Hawdon roads,” he said.
“Trevaskis Rd is not just essential to the constant movement of farm produce and heavy machinery, it has developed into a major thoroughfare for people heading from one major hub to the next.
“Farmers who use it multiple times a day will be going several kilometres further than necessary each time – over a year that will cost them thousands of dollars, and others have told me they fear it will have a negative impact on property values.”
The Trevaskis/Hawdon intersection is a dangerous one, and desperately needed some changes to traffic flow and speed limits – but simply rolling in and closing it does not do anything for all the people who use it; Mr Walsh added.
He said with work set to begin on March 8 the clock was ticking.
“I have already written to Roads and Road Safety Minister Ben Carroll, calling on him to intervene urgently and stop this before the proposed works start,” Mr Walsh said.
“This is a move that has sparked outrage amongst locals and the lack of consultation has made them even angrier,” he said.
“After meeting with some of them, and receiving calls and emails from others, I sent off the letter to Ben Carroll and then went to the site and met with some of the farmers who had contacted me.
“This is a Campaspe Shire road but I am told there has not been any consultation about the plans here and that itself is a formula for disaster.
“No-one knows local road conditions better than the locals – that’s obvious and that’s why consultation is so important in these decisions,” he said.
“And those locals tell me is this road – and access to it – is important for more than just those living along it; they say it is also regularly used by people from a much wider footprint.
“There has been a total failure of process by RRV on this issue and on behalf of all the people who access Trevaskis Rd from the Murray Valley Highway I am calling on Minister Carroll to take some urgent steps to stop the process now.”
Mr Walsh wants affected landowners and road users to email their concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org