Member for Benambra Bill Tilley will join the push to get Victorian Government funding for further studies into a Rutherglen heavy vehicle detour.
The Federal Government committed $2 million to the study during the recent election campaign.
Mr Tilley will seek matching funding from the State Government and look to the Federal Transport Minister Darren Chester for a timeframe around the availability of the Commonwealth’s money.
The state member met with Indigo councillors and its chief executive Gerry Smith in Rutherglen last week.
Mr Tilley said the recent sale of the Port of Melbourne may deliver the funding.
“The council updated me on the preferred route for their heavy vehicle deviation route, the need for some improvements, a bridge that would need to be updated and tell me that the trucking companies think there is merit in the plan,” he said.
“I also took the opportunity to walk Main Street and talk with a few traders – not everyone agrees.
“We do have a study on the table but that is six years old.
“Hopefully the investigation into this preferred route may be able to settle on a way forward.
“Legislation attached to the sale of the Port of Melbourne ensures $1 billion is re-invested in transport infrastructure in regional Victoria and this seems an ideal project for some of that money.”
Mr Tilley said recent developments demanded action.
“We have a traffic count from late 2014 has 590 trucks using Main Street each day,” he said.
“The creation of a regional Woolworths distribution centre, the relocation of Wodonga’s cattle saleyards and TAFE driver training centre to nearby Barnawartha have been key drivers in jobs and growth for the region but also in the number of trucks now using the town’s narrow thoroughfare.
“A major freight rail siding, again located nearby and set to start operating the near future, is only expected to add to the heavy vehicle traffic.
“Residents are rightly concerned for their safety when getting in and out of cars, or simply crossing the street. Main Street was designed for horses and buggies, not B-doubles.”
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