Council urged to bridge dispute at Groves Weir
23 January 2020
Euroa MP and The Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan has called on Campaspe Shire Council to replace Groves Weir bridge with a bridge of equal width to avoid major disruptions for Colbinabbin farmers.
Ms Ryan met with landholders yesterday to hear their concerns about council's plan to narrow the two-lane bridge to a single lane.
"This is a vital piece of infrastructure for local farmers moving heavy machinery and stock," Ms Ryan said.
“The current bridge is wide enough for farm machinery to cross but council plans to make it a single-lane bridge.
“A reduction from 6.1 metres to 4.8 metres will prevent farmers from transporting stock and machinery across the bridge and add a 10-km diversion to their travels.
“It will also force more slow-moving heavy machinery onto the Rushworth-Bendigo Rd which is a freight route for B-doubles.”
Ms Ryan wrote to council last December regarding proposed future works for Groves Weir bridge, reiterating that it is regularly used by a number of nearby landholders.
Council has advised a report on the planned works will be presented at council's February meeting.
"There's no question that country councils have a reduced budget after the Andrews Government ripped funding away from them for the maintenance of local roads and bridges, but council still has an obligation to its ratepayers to ensure critical infrastructure like this is accessible and usable," Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said that should council pursue plans to replace the bridge, they needed to accommodate the requirements of local farmers and landholders.
"As farm machinery gets bigger, replacement infrastructure needs to be thought about in the context of the 100-year life span of the bridge," Ms Ryan said.
“I urge council to work with the Colbinabbin community to replace a bridge of equal span to the existing structure.”
Photo: Colbinabbin farmer Bryon McIntosh and Euroa MP Steph Ryan with concerned landholders at Groves Weir bridge.