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Fingers crossed for Echuca-Moama bridge funding in Budget

District residents will wait to hear whether Echuca-Moama's second bridge crossing has received Victorian Government funding when the Budget is released tomorrow.

RENEE THOMPSON AND TRENT HORNEMAN May 5, 2014 3:04am

The Echuca-Moama community will wait with baited breath when Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien hands down the state’s Budget tomorrow afternoon.

Three projects lie front and centre in the community’s mind — a second river crossing, a new police station and a new Echuca West consolidated school.

Campaspe Shire mayor Ian Maddison, Committee for Echuca Moama chief executive Hayden Cock and Member for Rodney Paul Weller all believe the bridge is a high priority.

While the NSW and Federal governments have committed money in the past, the Victorian Government has yet to provide financial security.

Mr Cock said a new bridge was most important.

‘‘Our number one priority is money for the bridge, so we’d be keen to see some money in the Budget which would indicate state commitment to building the bridge,’’ he said.

‘‘Our three priorities for infrastructure investment in Echuca-Moama are to see the bridge progress to the design stage, a commitment to build the new merged primary school and the new Echuca police station.’’

Mr Cock said now was the time for the Coalition, and the Nationals in particular, to show a strong commitment to the region.

‘‘I’d go further and say if the Coalition Government is not seen to be delivering to Echuca and surrounds I could well imagine a number of independents running at the next state election for the state seat of Murray Plains,’’ he said.

Cr Maddison said he wanted to see some money for the bridge.

‘‘I’d like to see commitment in forward estimates for new bridge in terms of a commitment for funding the planing and design stage of the bridge within the next 12 months,’’ he said.

‘‘We’d like to see funding for a new police station in Echuca and the Kyabram P-12 next stage.

‘‘Also in forward estimates, we’d like to see funding in next year’s Budget for Echuca West Consolidated Primary and Specialist School.

‘‘There’s been enough time and enough endeavours, advocacy work to think these requests are fair and expected for the growth and development of the shire.’’

Mr Weller said he wanted to see ‘progress’ on the consolidated Echuca primary schools, Kyabram P-12 and Echuca police station.

‘‘Of course, there’s not just funding when the Budget is announced, it happens throughout the year,’’ he said.

‘‘While people focus on Budget day, people need to focus on what happens through the year.’’

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