14 June 2015
The Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh MP led a bridge deputation to Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan MP at Parliament House on Thursday 11th June 2015.
“The second river crossing at Echuca Moama has always been a top priority for The Nationals “ Mr Walsh said.
Prior to the November 2014 election the Liberal Nationals Coalition committed $96 million for the bridge. The money was included in the pre-election Budget Update and is therefore built into the forward estimates and included in this year’s Budget.
“I have given the Melbourne Labor Government the courtesy of time to settle into government but that time is now up and the community is looking for answers on this desperately needed major infrastructure project for northern Victoria.” Mr Walsh said.
Attending the deputation were Mr Jason Russell CEO Shire of Campaspe Cr Leigh Wilson Mayor Shire of Campaspe and Mr Mal Kersting Northern Regional Manager VicRoads.
The Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and Review of Environmental Factors (REV) were scheduled to go on public exhibition for a period of 30 days by March 2015 but this process is currently being held up by the NSW State Government who have yet to resolve an issue regarding squirrel gliders.
“The deputation impressed on the Minister the need to get the EES process completed as soon as possible and move forward to the next step “ Mr Walsh said.
“I am in no doubt that the Minister understood our message and he has given an undertaking to contact the NSW Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight to to seek his co-operation and commitment to completing the process as a matter of priority.” Mr Walsh said.
The deputation also raised with the Minister the dangers of the unsafe intersection of Murray Valley Highway and Warren Street and emphasized the need to build the roundabout now as the first step to the bridge works.
“It is not an option to wait for the final bridge solution “ Mr Walsh said.
“I will continue to work with the Shire of Campaspe to keep the pressure on the Melbourne Labor Government in relation to these two critically important projects “ he said.