Confusion over bypass a ‘typo’
12 May 2016
Confusion over the Kilmore-Wallan Bypass has been put down to a ‘typographical error’ by Roads Minister Luke Donnellan.
Under questioning from the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) yesterday, Mr Donnellan admitted that the project should not have been listed under “completed projects” in the 2016-17 State Budget.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the question was asked by the Coalition in an effort to seek clarity for the communities affected by the bypass.
“This Andrews Labor Government appears hell-bent on confusing and bewildering residents who will be affected by the Kilmore-Wallan bypass,” Ms Ryan said.
“Not only has there been a lack of clear communication regarding the timeframes and implementation for the project, now the government has further confused residents by listing the project as completed in its latest budget.
“The Minister has now back peddled saying it was a typo but it raises questions over where the project sits on the government’s agenda.”
Ms Ryan said she continued to be contacted by concerned residents and had recently notified Parliament of a petition circulated by the Save Wandong Action Group.
“The petition called on the State Government to consider other options for the interchange at Wandong and for Roads Minister Luke Donnellan to meet with the community,” Ms Ryan said.
“I also questioned the Minister in Parliament on whether the results of the assessment of the Wandong interchange he announced last year will be released to the public and when this might be.
“The Minister had previously provided advice indicating that all Heathcote Junction and Wandong residents had been informed of this assessment. Disappointingly, local community members have advised me that only a select few in the community have received such advice.
Ms Ryan said upon looking over the terms of reference, it would appear the assessment was simply designed to manage the community rather than genuinely examine the interchange.
“This is not an acceptable response to the community’s concerns,” Ms Ryan said.
“The community has asked for a comprehensive examination of the technical and scientific aspects of the impact of the proposed interchange on the town and I will continue to push for this.”