Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

"Crunch time" for green route choice

“This is the last chance for people to have their say – they have to sign the petition supporting the green route. If they don’t it will be too late.”

RACHEAL WILLETT April 8, 2014 2:49pm

YMT President and Green Route Community Group member Doug Evans is adamant time is running out for the community to influence state roads authorities on a choice of route for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.

He has implored residents of Yarrawonga Mulwala and visitors to the region to sign a petition, now circulating through local businesses, clubs and sporting groups, declaring support for the green route option.

“It’s crunch time,” he said. “I absolutely believe this is the last opportunity we will have to show the strong community support for the green route.

“We believe the majority of people in Yarrawonga and Mulwala support the green route choice and think visitors will do the same. So now is the time we need people to sign their name, show their support, so once and for all we can convince roads authorities that green is the only way to go.”

In simple terms, the route options for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala crossing have been narrowed to three – yellow, green and grey.

Of those options, the green – which runs alongside the existing weir crossing and the grey – which would sit immediately beside the existing ‘traffic’ bridge, have been touted as the most likely prospects.  

A campaign has been launched by the Green Route Community Group which includes representatives from YMT, Moira Shire Council, the Mulwala Progress Association and the Yarrawonga Mulwala Chamber of Commerce as well as concerned community members, to champion the cause for the green route.

The campaign follows directly on the heels of all the aforementioned groups as well as major business representatives including ClubMulwala and, most recently, the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, expressing public preference for the green route.

Moira Shire Council Mayor Peter Mansfield said the green route was “the obvious choice” for the long-term future of Yarrawonga Mulwala.

“I fully support this campaign of support for the green route and I urge everyone to sign the petition,” he said.

“The selection of the green route is the best choice for this community and the only hope we have of eventually saving the existing bridge.”

Mr Evans said the Green Route Community Group believed the selection of the green route was imperative to;

-          allow heavy vehicles and non-essential CBD traffic to avoid Belmore Street, both for ease of travel and time effectiveness, making the shopping strip safer and more user-friendly for locals and visitors,

-          prevent traffic grid-lock. Once the weir crossing is closed, all traffic, the current volume and the increased volume associated with future growth, will have to use the new bridge and the grey route would force all that traffic directly into Belmore Street, effectively choking the CBD, and,

-          provide for the retention of the existing traffic bridge.

“Only by having the green route chosen do we have any prospect of keeping the existing bridge,” Mr Evans said.

“If the grey route is chosen the bridge can’t stay there and we need to keep the bridge because it provides a vital connection for Yarrawonga Mulwala tourism and the community.

“That bridge is the tourism spine of Yarrawonga and Mulwala and opens the door for a raft of future development that would benefit both communities.”

VicRoads and the NSW Roads and Maritime Services are expected to deliver a decision on the chosen bridge route by mid-2014.

The action group is hoping a strong show of community support, through signatures on the petition, will make it clear the green option is the preferred choice of Yarrawonga Mulwala residents and visitors to the area.

The Green Route Community Group petition was launched on Monday and will be available for signatures until the end of April.

To show support add your name to the petition at any of the following outlets; Permewans, Ampol Benalla Road, Ampol McDonald’s, McBurnie Engineering, Middendorps, Yarrawonga Newsagency, Bi-Rite, ClubMulwala, Mulwala Water Ski Club, Central Motel, Woolworths (Saturdays and Sundays), Yarrawonga Football Netball Club and Vodusek Meats, the Criterion Hotel, Rivers and Courtyard Café.

If anyone would like more information on the campaign for the green route or would like to help by having a petition available at their business, contact John Lawless on 0417 799 516 or 5744 1823.

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