Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich believes the investment in the rail network would ease the financial burden on Murray Shire to maintain the region’s roads, under increasing stress from heavy vehicles.TRENT HORNEMAN July 10, 2014 3:23am
Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich believes it is time state governments invested in the region’s rail network.
While money has been spent on refurbishing the rail line to Deniliquin, Cr Weyrich wants to see work done on the decommissioned Moulamein line.
Cr Weyrich believes the investment would ease the financial burden on Murray Shire to maintain the region’s roads, under increasing stress from heavy vehicles.
The Moulamein line was decommissioned in the height of the drought in 2004, with less grain coming from paddocks to market, as well as the closure of Echuca’s rice mill.
Councillors at the time, including the late Bob Caldwell, said the prospect of 180,000 tonnes of rice on the road in an average harvest were not acceptable.
‘‘We really don’t think our roads will cope with this amount of traffic,’’ Cr Caldwell said.
‘‘If the roads break up under the weight of these trucks it will put a strain on all funding for the entire road network.’’
A decade later, Cr Weyrich confirmed Cr Caldwell’s concerns, saying the shire’s roads were not coping with the increase in b-triples, road trains and other heavy transport.
‘‘Our forefathers invested in rail and while it might have made sense to close the line in the drought, it would be a good time to bring it back,’’ he said.
Cr Weyrich said a hefty initial refurbishment could have greater savings in the long term, with potential savings of about $500,000 a year for the shire.
‘‘Roads are our single biggest asset,’’ he said.
‘‘Our roads are taking a pounding at the moment, because they are dealing with volumes of traffic not considered at the time they were made.
‘‘It might cost more to refurbish the rail line in the outset, that investment would last for about 15 years, whereas roads are upgraded more often.’’
Cr Weyrich said while he was not against the trucking industry, he said the move would also make the region’s roads safer.
He said it was in the Victorian Government’s interest to have the rail lines open.
‘‘All of this produce will end up at a Victorian port,’’ he said.
Police have established a crime scene at the Shell service station, Wyndham St, Shepparton.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Emily Umbers has been helping members of the Maasai community to get a toilet.
St Joseph’s Primary School students took part in an extended after-school stay.
Fraser sure has aces in spades
A great day brought big numbers to Station St in Seymour.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
Nominations are being sought for the annual Axedale CWA community youth award.
Access to Ulupna Island has been blocked at key points, leaving local residents and businesses rallying for a re-opening in a bid to save tourism dollars.
Deniliquin McDonald's raised more than $1300 for McHappy Day on Saturday.
Up to14 new full-time jobs will be created at Pactum Dairy Group in Shepparton, with the company set to embark on an $18million expansion at its factory.
Alma Nungarrayi Granites is the most successful of the Warlukurlangu artists who still live at Yuendumu and enjoys teaching children about aboriginal culture and art.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.