THE member for Albury Greg Aplin is being lobbied by both sides of the Yarrawonga-Mulwala replacement bridge debate this week as D-Day for a decision on the route nears.
A delegation supporting the green route across Lake Mulwala met Mr Aplin at his Albury office yesterday and the state MP has a meeting planned tomorrow with Corowa Council, which has backed the grey route.
Mr Aplin is under pressure to make a commitment similar to member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, who recently backed the green route.
The green route delegation followed a meeting last Friday between Mr Aplin and the two state road authorities, VicRoads and NSW Roads and Maritime Services.
But complicating the situation and creating more delay will be unscheduled community consultations from Vic- Roads in the next few weeks.
Mr Aplin said his route preference could be made public before the end of the month.
“My main job has been to make sure there is funding for the bridge when the 2020 deadline comes about,” he said.
“Surely we are at a point now where a definitive route can be chosen.
“But you don’t come out without exploring the various points of view.
“Last Friday was the first time VicRoads has given me anything in the way of a presentation.
“I want to have the facts at my disposal before I do express a view.”
The Yarrawonga-Mulwala green route delegation was made up of Mulwala Progress Association chairman Rob Purtle, Doug Evans, John Lawless, Graham Ferguson and Noel Wright.
Mr Purtle said the meeting with Mr Aplin had been productive.
“We are not expecting any decisions immediately,” he said.
“We were hoping he would, but don’t think he will.
“He is not going to make any rash promises, but he won’t drag this out until the end of the year.
“If it’s in our favour, we hope he makes it very soon.”
Corowa mayor Fred Longmire declined to comment until after the meeting with Mr Aplin.
Corowa shire wants the new bridge built next to the existing one, which links the main streets of Mulwala and Yarrawonga.
But Moira Council and Mr McCurdy want the bridge built near the weir crossing, which will close in 2020.