WORK on an overpass at the intersection of the Hume Freeway and McKoy Street in west Wodonga is expected to begin in early 2022.
The date has been flagged by the office of federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael McCormack and is the first timeframe given for construction since Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last year his government would fund the $64 million project
If the timing is adhered to, it would mean a flyover, including on and off ramps, would open at least four years after the speed limit was dropped from 110km/h to 80km/h along the stretch of the freeway at the intersection.
The timeline follows Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie telling a council meeting on Monday night that the project would not be funded based on feedback she had from Canberra.
Wodonga's Victorian MP Bill Tilley said the start indicator was "great news" and criticised claims the project would not be funded by his federal Coalition colleagues.
"I don't know how many times the Federal Government has to say that this money is on the table but just this week we've seen people in positions of public trust shoot their mouth off when it seems they have no idea of what is going on," Mr Tilley said in a veiled reference to Cr Speedie and Indi MP Helen Haines who also raised concerns.
"My role will be to work with the State Government to make sure this happens rather than throw rocks at them in some type of hissy fit."
Liberal Senator Jane Hume took a more direct potshot at Dr Haines.
"The Morrison Government committed and budgeted $64 million to the McKoy Street, Hume Highway overpass project.
"The McKoy Street overpass has been fully funded through the Australian Government Roads of Strategic Importance program.
"It's no surprise Helen Haines, a member of the cross-bench, is unaware of what the Morrison Government is delivering for Indi."
Dr Haines said she had written to Mr McCormack in December after reading in the government's mid-year economic report only $24 million had been allocated for the McKoy Street project.
She said she had not received a reply.
"Constituents of Indi deserve to know through the correct channels, through their elected member of parliament exactly what's going on with a project such as this," Dr Haines said.
"Politicising taxpayer-funded projects speaks to the integrity of parliamentarians and the integrity of the Morrison government.
"Senator Hume or Mr Tilley, they're welcome to place this in whatever context they want, but what is important is we have good governance, good process and clear communication to the people of Wodonga."
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