Lift bridge priority

Federation Council want a new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge crossing escalated to the top of the list.

Federation Council will make a submission highlighting the critical need for a new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge crossing to be escalated to the highest priority.

Council decided on the action at its monthly May meeting on Monday. It follows advice to Federation Council from Transport for NSW, who in partnership with Victoria’s Department of Transport, is investigating opportunities to improve the 32 Murray River crossings and council wants the attention directed to the Yarrawonga Mulwala crossing.

“Council has a long-held priority with Moira Shire to lobby for a faster replacement of the Lake Mulwala bridge,” Federation Council’s General Manager Adrian Butler said at Monday’s meeting.

“Now that the NSW and Victorian Governments have agreed to the green route (near and parallel to the railway line), as supported by both councils and the majority of residents, it is critical the project be given a higher priority status.”

The Yarrawonga Chronicle has not been formally advised of the green route selection but all indications are the preferred route is the green one.

Retiring Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum also said the replacement priority of a new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge has lifted to number three from eight, now only behind Swan Hill’s and Tooleybuc’s bridges.

In 2018, the NSW and Victorian governments carried out the Murray River Crossings Investment Prioritisation Assessment to help inform and prioritise future investment decisions by ranking each crossing over the Murray River with a new Yarrawonga Mulwala crossing ranked 8th.

No final confirmation of the green route for a new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge crossing by either the NSW or Victorian state governments in the meantime is frustrating members of the Green Route Committee.

“It’s very frustrating not being able to get confirmation after we were told in December last year that following the results of the community survey the green route would be selected,” committee member John Lawless said

Mr Lawless said the committee was still waiting on a response from NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway to commit to the green route despite the recent community survey results favouring the green route and Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum saying it was given at a recent press conference in Yarrawonga alongside Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce.

“The report that we have is it’s a given, we are in with the green route,” Mr Drum said on April 11.

“Everyone is in lock step with the route and now we have to go and source funding.”

But contrary to Mr Drum’s understanding Minister Farraway’s office would not confirm the route after three requests by the Yarrawonga Chronicle as to whether a confirmation decision has been made.