A community group in a fight to protect the site of the Kelly Gang's siege at Glenrowan from a proposed bridge as part of an inland rail project fears its concerns could fall on deaf ears.
Australian Rail Track Corporation's design for a replacement open-span bridge on Beaconsfield Parade was criticised for cutting through the siege site at a community consultation session in the tourist town on Tuesday - making access and safety harder for visitors and operators.
The ARTC said it was the preferred option to allow for double-stacked freight trains based on feedback from the community, stakeholders, heritage specialists and Heritage Victoria, but Glenrowan Improvers president Helen Senior said not all options had been considered.
Mrs Senior has been led to believe an alternative option will be drafted further back from the town's tourist precinct and closer to the Hume Freeway, leading to the removal of the existing overpass built in the late 1950s.
She believes it would open up the siege site to be more appealing for tourists and take quarry trucks away from the area which has a lot of foot traffic.
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However, Mrs Senior said that particular option hadn't been sourced by the ARTC and fears they have already made the final decision.
"They need to look at every single avenue and we need to get this right," she said.
"It's a world-renowned historical site and we need to protect it."
Rural City of Wangaratta councillor-elect Dean Rees said the council must weigh up all options, but he thinks the overpass being constructed away from the siege site would make sense.
"If you build it at the front of the siege site, all the parking will have to go," Cr Rees said.
"It's going to be super impractical unless they drop the track and that's never going to happen."
An ARTC spokesperson told The Border Mail it is in the process of having designs presented to the community and other stakeholders for more detailed feedback, which involves replacing the existing bridge on Beaconsfield Parade with an open-span bridge.
"The open-span bridge is proposed as the most suitable option as it will improve connectivity in the township, open the visual amenity of the iconic siege site and best protects the precinct's heritage," he said.
ARTC said in its previous engagement with the Glenrowan Improvers it discussed the original design, including a track lowering under the Beaconsfield Parade overpass, which was changed to a bridge replacement following stakeholder feedback and technical investigations.
The spokesperson added ARTC consultants will be in Glenrowan every second Tuesday and Wangaratta each Wednesday for further community engagement.