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Planning minister to decide on bridge planning process

The ball is now in Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy's court when it comes to planning for the second Murray River crossing at Echuca-Moama.

TRENT HORNEMAN March 1, 2013 4:30am

Planning for a second Murray River crossing in Echuca-Moama is now in the hands of Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

VicRoads has submitted its referral study to the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development.

While the detailed report outlines the design of proposed routes, as well as social, environmental, hydrologicial, traffic and noise factors, it stopped short of offering its preferred route.

The VicRoads study reaffirmed the choice was between mid-west alignments 2A and 2B.

Now the report is complete, it is up to Mr Guy and his department to make a decision on the planning process to decide the route.

Last year, Committee For Echuca-Moama wrote to Mr Guy, asking him to waive a planning panel process to expedite a final decision on the route.

Both Murray and Campaspe shires refused to support the proposal, preferring to leave the planning panel decision to Mr Guy and his department.

The Riv asked a spokesman for Mr Guy to outline a timeframe for any decision to be made.

‘‘The department received the report mid-February and is currently considering its recommendations,’’ was the spokesperson’s response.

Member for Rodney Paul Weller said he was working with Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder to ensure there were no delays in any VicRoads process.

‘‘In addition, I have had confirmation from Planning Minister Matthew Guy that VicRoads has submitted its referral for the project under the Environment Effects Act 1987 and this was accepted by the department in mid-February,’’ he said.

‘‘The Minister will now decide whether an Environment Effects Statement is required and his decision could influence the planning process in terms of streamlining and co-ordination.

‘‘In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with a representative of the Planning Minister, Campaspe Shire Councillors and the Committee for Echuca-Moama to inform what the required processes are to be.’’

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