Tuesday, 20 December 2022


Shepparton bypass

Shepparton bypass

Wendy LOVELL (Northern Victoria) (19:13): (6) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. The action that I seek is for the minister to match the coalition’s election commitment and immediately provide $260 million, being the Victorian government’s contribution to stage 1 of the Shepparton bypass project, and also for her to advocate to Infrastructure Australia and the federal government to allocate the additional federal funding necessary to complete stage 1. With the state election now over, we on this side of the house will work hard over the next four years to meticulously scrutinise the government on behalf of the Victorian people to hold them to account. By removing a Labor-voting independent and electing a coalition member, the people of the Shepparton district have sent a strong and clear message to the Andrews Labor government to provide the state’s share of funding for the Shepparton bypass project. The people of Shepparton have been calling for the bypass for three decades, and the devastating October floods in the electorate highlighted the dangers of this government continuously ignoring the need for this project.

The flood crisis impacted many members of the Shepparton electorate, with many residents evacuated or stranded in their homes for many days. The river rose to a height of 12.06 metres and forced the closure of the Peter Ross-Edwards Causeway, a 3.7-kilometre stretch of road that is the sole connecting thoroughfare between Shepparton and Mooroopna. The severity of the floods also impacted other access points to the north and south, and without a second river crossing our city was divided, with Mooroopna completely cut off from the rest of the state. This meant that Mooroopna residents had no access to the hospital or other services located in Shepparton.

The floods proved the absolute necessity for a second river crossing between Shepparton and Mooroopna to allow access between the two towns. This was recognised by the Liberal-National coalition that committed $260 million, being the state’s full contribution to the estimated $1.3 billion cost of stage 1 of the Shepparton bypass. This commitment was overwhelmingly embraced by voters who on 26 November removed Suzanna Sheed and elected a coalition member. The result was also a message to Minister Allan and the government that we are sick and tired of Labor ignoring the project and in turn the wellbeing of our community. Daniel Andrews has stated he will govern for all Victorians. He must not punish the Shepparton electorate for electing a coalition member by not funding the Shepparton bypass.