Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Weyrich lashes out at bridge delay

After delays on the Murray River bridge at Echuca-Moama on Friday, Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich is upset at the lack of financial commitment towards a second river crossing.

MONIQUE PRESTON December 31, 2012 4:04am

A car collided with a truck on the Echuca-Moama Bridge on Friday, causing a traffic nightmare for motorists.

Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich has called on the Victorian Government to ‘‘man up’’ and pledge money for the second Echuca-Moama Murray River bridge.

Speaking shortly after Friday’s crash, which had traffic banked up on both sides of the border, Cr Weyrich blasted the government for being all talk.

‘‘We were lucky there was no problem here (in NSW) because there are no tow trucks in Moama and no ambulances,’’ he said.

‘‘NSW has already allocated $60million. The Vic Government needs to get their act together, someone’s got to man up...the problem is on the Victorian side.

‘‘We’re being treated like second-class citizens.’’

The NSW Government pledged an estimated $60million for the second bridge in October, even though no route had been chosen and no overall costings had been released.

Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, while visiting the region in July, declared the Coalition would ‘‘build the damn thing, be assured’’, but no monetary figure has been mentioned since.

The Federal Government, which would be needed to help fund the second bridge, is yet to firmly commit words or money.

Cr Weyrich said Murray Shire councillors would discuss in the new year whether to support Committee for Echuca-Moama’s request for Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy to waive the need for a planning panel on the second bridge’s route.

C4EM chief executive Hayden Cock believes the planning panel is unnecessary because studies have already been conducted and because it could add 18 months to the already drawn-out debate. Mr Cock said the 2B option already had the support of Murray and Campaspe Shires and Yorta Yorta.

Member for Rodney Paul Weller supports C4EM’s request.

Campaspe Shire chief executive Keith Baillie said the shire would discuss the issue in the New Year.

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