Tuesday, 7 March 2023


Latrobe River Bridge, Tyers Road

Latrobe River Bridge, Tyers Road

Martin CAMERON (Morwell) (19:12): (73) My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and the action I seek is for the minister to urgently intervene to fast-track replacement of the old Latrobe River Bridge at Tyers Road. The old bridge was built in 1936 and is the only direct connection between the two towns of Tyers and Traralgon. It regularly floods when there is heavy rainfall and its load-bearing capacity is only 30 tonnes, meaning heavy vehicles must lower their speed to cross the bridge safely. In 2015 the Premier announced a new bridge for the town of Tyers as a matter of urgency. He said it was long overdue and promised it would be one of his first tasks. Now eight years later not only are the people of Tyers still waiting for the new bridge, but the old bridge that gives them access into town has been closed since November. When the bridge is closed public access to the town is cut off. A free shuttle bus designed to connect communities to the public transport network does not help parents get their children to school on time. It does not get residents to work on time. It does not help them access the medical services. It does not solve the problem our selfless first responders face in accessing and responding to emergencies. It does not help ambulances transporting critically ill patients to hospital.

Last week by stealth the state government posted an update to the Regional Roads Victoria website. It said work to replace the bridge was ‘well underway’, but that:

Tyers Road at the Latrobe River Bridge will remain closed until further notice.

At the bottom of the webpage it mentions works are not scheduled to be complete until 2024. By the state government’s own admission this is frustrating, but frustrating does not come close to articulating how justifiably angry the people of Tyers are. The state government lauds its own level crossing removal projects on a weekly basis, boasting it has scrapped yet another dangerous crossing for the people of metropolitan Melbourne – 67 since 2019, to be exact. If the Andrews government can remove 67 level crossings in Melbourne in less than four years, surely it can extend the same courtesy to the people of Tyers in regional Victoria, who are simply asking for the swift restoration of a single bridge, which was promised as a matter of urgency eight years ago. So, Minister, will you fast-track construction of this critical piece of infrastructure and provide a time line for delivery for the people of Tyers?