FEDERAL politician Cathy McGowan won’t talk about changes at McKoy Street and the Hume Freeway, despite the 80km/h intersection being a national matter.
The Border Mail sought to speak to the independent MP on Thursday about the redesign of the west Wodonga site which has left nearby business operators saying it is now more dangerous for trucks.
A spokeswoman for Ms McGowan initially said she would try to arrange an interview but then phoned back to say her boss would not be speaking on the issue.
“Given we haven’t had any representation to the office about it, it’s not something she’s going to make comment on,” the spokeswoman said.
Victorian politician Bill Tilley said being a national highway, with major work such as an overpass requiring federal money, Ms McGowan should be addressing concerns about the site.
“As a local representative in the House of Representatives this is very much in part of her remit, in stark contrast to trains which are a state issue,” Mr Tilley said.
“I find it absurd.”
Mr Tilley also queried the statement that nobody had approached Ms McGowan’s office, saying he was aware of McKoy Street traders who had sought help when the roadwork began in May.
He would like Ms McGowan, who is weighing up her support for new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to raise the issue with the federal government’s leader.
Mr Tilley said he had written to Liberal colleague Senator Jane Hume asking her to take his concerns to federal Transport Minister Michael McCormack.
He was underwhelmed by the response, saying there was not a good deal of interest shown.
Asked if he had written to Ms McGowan, Mr Tilley said he had not after the experience of the traders.
“I thought no good wasting time there, it’s just spinning wheels,” he said.
However, Mr Tilley said ideally that there should be co-operation between the MPs.
“It’s one of those issues, as the state representative on the Victorian border and as the House of Representatives member in this area, it’s something we should share a common interest in and can work together on, there’s no doubt,” he said.
“But I don’t want to wait for a crash or heaven forbid a fatality to happen.
“I’ll say it again and again the only real solution there is an overpass, an interchange.”
Meanwhile, VicRoads has extended the timeframe for when the intersection will reopen in its new format.
The work to alter the site was expected to be finished by this Friday, but the reopening is now slated for an unspecified time in September.
However, that completion date could blowout due to bad weather.
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