MULWALA BRIDGE: Tell us what you think, Aplin told

Member for Albury Greg Aplin
Member for Albury Greg Aplin

COROWA mayor Fred Longmire has urged member for Albury Greg Aplin to state his preferred route for the Yarrawonga-Mulwala replacement bridge.

The request comes after member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy declared his support for the green route, which is against the long-held position of Corowa council.

“What is the position of our member of Parliament on the NSW side?” Cr Longmire said.

“We are not the decision-makers.

“We’ve done our part to represent what we believe was the right position on the evidence available.

“It is about getting a bridge built.”

But Mr Aplin was yesterday firmly on the fence, refusing to state a preference until he met NSW Roads and Maritime Services this month.

“My view is the bridge should be of long-term benefit to the residents of Mulwala and those across the river in Yarrawonga,” he said.

“I am going to be guided by the costings, the suiting of heavy transport needs and the tourism outcomes that all need to be taken into account.

“Obviously it’s a case of listening to the experts ... and I’ll be in a position to make that sort of assessment when I hear from Roads and Maritime Services.

“You don’t put opinions out without hearing all the facts.”

Mr Aplin said he would be meeting the Mulwala Progress Association — which also supports the green route — on May 19, in the days following his meeting with RMS.

Corowa Council 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.

Mr McCurdy’s support of the green route puts him at odds with his state’s leading traffic authority, VicRoads, which is hoping a final decision on the preferred crossing is made by the middle of the year.

The final decision will be made by the Victorian and the NSW governments.

“Mr McCurdy has obviously got his point of view and that is OK,” Cr Longmire said.

“It is not about winning and losing on this issue.

“It is about taking everything into consideration about what is believed to be the right result.

“But I would still like to know what the position of our local member of Parliament is.”

Mr McCurdy has fallen in behind community support for the green route in Yarrawonga in an election year when he will contest the re-shaped electorate named Ovens Valley.