Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says a push for funding to complete the first stage of the Shepparton Bypass is making headway following a meeting with the Minister for Roads.
Ms Sheed hosted a delegation of local advocates at Parliament House last week to discuss the project and update the Minister on the progress of the $10.2 million already being spent on planning and preliminary works.
The group included Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe and CEO Peter Harriott, Chair of the Shepparton Bypass Action Group Peter Johnson, General Manager of Kreskas Bros Transport Peter Hill and Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO Sam Birrell.
“The first stage of the Shepparton Bypass is expected to cost at least $260 million, so this is a huge project that will require funding from both the state and federal governments, but the value to our region would be immeasurable,” Ms Sheed said.
“We had a good discussion with the Minister and I’m confident he understands our needs and is supportive of the project.
“The bypass is a major priority for the Shepparton District and it’s important we keep our foot on the accelerator in terms of lobbying the Government to really get it off the ground and do the work so we get it right for our community.”
Ms Sheed said keeping trucks out of the Shepparton CBD would not only improve the amenity of residents and retailers, it would reduce the current safety hazard and support local businesses.
“Shepparton District is a powerhouse of agricultural production, a centre for transport logistics and has one of the highest concentrations of food processors in the country,” Ms Sheed said.
“There are hundreds of B-Double trucks going through town every day and while that certainly represents the strength of our economy, it is disruptive for city traders and poses a significant danger to those navigating such heavy traffic.
“It’s simply not safe to have trucks and passenger vehicles competing for space on our roads, especially at places such as Grahamvale where parents face a daily battle of keeping their children safe as they do school drop off and pick up.
“We need a road system that supports our businesses and our community and I will continue to put pressure on the Government to make the investment we deserve.”
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