Letters to the Editor

July 05, 2017

Bridge EES needs input

With reference to the article ‘Bridge plans continue, so does the debate’ (Yarrawonga Chronicle, June 28) it appears that VicRoads are in the final stages of preparing an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) referral for presentation to the Minister for Planning.
I note that there is no mention of any public consultation at this stage.
I believe that it is of paramount importance that the EES be open to input from the two councils involved, the fire brigades and local residents.
This should be a transparent process that addresses the many concerns raised by our community throughout the selection process.
Some of the main problems that should be covered in the EES are as follows;
1.    The impact of a huge increase in traffic volume on Irvine Parade which is currently a quiet residential street. Peak traffic flows are estimated at 21,000 vehicles per day by the year 2020 and 29,000 vehicles per day by 2030.
2.    Environmentally the pollution from noise, dust, fuel emissions, exhausts etc. would be severe, plus the close proximity to an office block and the hotel with a large outdoor entertainment area only adds to the problem.
3.    Public safety. The grey route brings all vehicles carrying hazardous materials, to and from Thales, into Irvine Parade near the end of Belmore Street. Once incident involving these vehicles, or a chemical spill, would result in utter chaos with evacuations etc. particularly in the Belmore Street area. Local fire brigade captain Vin Slattery made this abundantly clear at a meeting we attended with VicRoads and RMS. These vehicles currently use Gulai Road.
4.    Hopefully the life span of the new bridge will be 100 plus years. The EES should include some rational attempt to consider increasing future environmental impacts such as; significant increased traffic flow, increased vehicle size and dimensions, future high density residential development along land frontages and the huge impact of all those things in creating environmental and traffic problems in Melbourne Street, Mulwala.
I must emphasize the importance of an EES to our community, particularly considering the future, in judging the final outcome for the new bridge.
I still cannot understand why such documents were not prepared for both the green and grey options before a decision was made.

Graeme Ferguson

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