John Lawless, a member of the Green Route Community Group, presented a 10,000 strong ‘Vote Green’ petition to Moira Shire Council at its May ordinary meeting.FIONA BLICK May 27, 2014 3:05pm
Mayor Peter Mansfield suspended standing orders to allow Mr Lawless to speak and for councillors to voice their thoughts.
Mr Lawless thanked the council for allowing time during the meeting, which was held at Waaia, to present the petition.
“This petition came about because VicRoads, Roads and Maritime Services NSW (RMS) and Corowa Shire Council are pushing for the grey route which is totally against Moira Shire’s and both communities wishes,” Mr Lawless said.
“The Green Route Community Group was made up essentially to organise this petition.
“We met with VicRoads to let them know the public wanted the green route and they told us we had to go out and prove the community was behind us.”
Mr Lawless told councillors the group went to Corowa Shire Council with more than 500 signatures initially however “they ignored us”.
“Then we got 10,140 signatures in 22 days which is really a remarkable result,” he said.
“5,800 were from Yarrawonga and Mulwala and a further 4,265 were from visitors to the area.
“We are very happy tourists took part in this petition.
“The group went to meet with Member for Albury Greg Aplin today (May 19) for two hours and we received a very positive response.
“Mr Aplin is sending our petition to his Minister for Transport.
“If Corowa Shire comes out and says the green route is their choice then the bridge would happen overnight.”
Cr Kevin Bourke thanked Mr Lawless and the Green Route Community group for doing “all the hard yards”.
“In the past I did a lot of work around the Echuca Moama bridge and all I have to say is don’t let happen here what happened there with delay after delay,” Cr Bourke said.
Cr Ed Cox congratulated the group in its initiative in pursuing the green route option.
“It is a shame it has come to this that two interstate groups can’t agree,” Cr Cox said.
“Moira Shire tries to work with neighbouring councils to get the best result for our communities.
“It is critical Moira takes the lead role in further discussions.”
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