A Liberal and Nationals Government will deliver Shepparton’s long-overdue bypass.
The Greater Shepparton community has been lobbying for the project since the mid-1990s, with the project becoming a political football.
The Liberals and Nationals will end this stalemate, committing $260 million to get on with stage one of the project, despite silence from state and federal Labor.
Leader of the Liberal Party, Matt Guy, said the Goulburn Valley is collateral damage in what has become a political debate.
“This is a project the community has been calling on for three decades and we are fed up with the level of inaction in recent years,” Mr Guy said.
“The Shepparton and Mooroopna communities need a real solution to get trucks and freight out of the city centre, and this will deliver that.
“Today’s funding will finally get this project underway and we hope it will bring the Federal Government to the table to get the bypass project back on track and deliver a real solution for the Shepparton community.”
Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh, said regional areas deserve better investment.
“As the Shepparton and Mooroopna communities recover from the recent floods, it has become even more apparent how necessary a second river crossing is,” Mr Walsh said.
“Currently, the Watt Road river crossing is unsuitable for large vehicles and becomes unusuable during flood events, and we have seen the Peter Ross-Edwards Causeway close during the most recent flood event.
“The expanding community has been constrained by only having one river crossing and have been waiting patiently for a proper solution for decades.”
Liberal Candidate for Shepparton, Cheryl Hammer, said the project was important for reducing congestion in the growing Shepparton CBD.
“The Shepparton Bypass project is needed to remove heavy vehicles from city streets, improving safety for motorists and pedestrians and helps reduce congestion in our central business districts,” Ms Hammer said.
“Labor has shown no political will to fund stage one of the project and I am proud an elected Matt Guy Government will provide funding to finally get the project underway.”
The Nationals Candidate for Shepparton, Kim O’Keeffe, said Shepparton was tired of talk on the Shepparton Bypass.
“Over the past 30 years the Shepparton population has boomed and it’s only going to continue, we need action on this now, not in another 30 years,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“I have been advocating for this for a long time as mayor and it will be fantastic to see the community’s tireless work finally come to fruition.”