Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has criticised the Victorian Government for continuing delays on the Shepparton Bypass.
Ms Sheed said despite $10.2 million being allocated two years ago for planning and early works, the business case for the project remained incomplete.
The first stage of the Shepparton Bypass is estimated at $270 million and would require funding from both state and federal governments, with the majority likely to be provided by the Commonwealth.
Ms Sheed said the lengthy delay had left the electorate frustratingly hamstrung.
“Disappointingly, the state’s roads authority has seemingly put the Shepparton Bypass on the backburner,” Ms Sheed said in Parliament on Tuesday.
“With a federal election looming and the state budget process well underway – and no business case available to demonstrate our widely accepted need – our opportunity to progress this project has been severely handicapped.
“While I appreciate there is an extensive infrastructure program underway across Melbourne, I would expect this not to be at the expense of important transport projects in regional Victoria.”
Ms Sheed thanked new Minister for Roads Jaala Pulford for meeting with members of the Goulburn Valley Highway Shepparton Bypass Action Group earlier this month and for her timely response to key enquiries.
Ms Sheed then called on the Government to instruct VicRoads to complete the business case and release it to relevant stakeholders by 15 March, 2019.
“After decades of neglect, the Shepparton District is now attracting both government and industry investment,” Ms Sheed said.
“With a federal election only months away, we are in a prime position to leverage our recent success and, given the critical juncture we find ourselves in, I would urge the Minister to take swift action to help get the Shepparton Bypass off the ground.”
Riahn Smith 0419 138 978│firstname.lastname@example.org