Birrell still believes in the Shepparton Bypass

Tuesday November 21, 2023   

Federal member for Nicholls, Sam Birrell MP, says Nationals and Liberal Governments at federal and state level are the only hope left for construction of the Shepparton Bypass.

“As feared, Infrastructure Minister Catherine King has put the bypass on the list of Victorian
projects Labor won’t fund following more than 200 days of delay and uncertainty,” Mr Birrell said.

“The Coalition committed $208 million to kick start stage one, including a second crossing over the Goulburn River.

“The critical nature of this project was apparent during the October 2022 floods when the
causeway between Shepparton and Mooroopna was cut, but Labor has categorised the project as not demonstrating merit and lacking any national strategic rationale.”

“That money will now disappear from the budget.”

Mr Birrell said the list of projects that will be built as planned includes $320 million for Stage 3 of the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade and the $168 million Bendigo-Echuca rail line upgrade.

“Both these projects were funded by the Coalition Government and are completed or nearing completion,” Mr Birrell said.

“We also got the Echuca-Moama bridge built, but Labor has now made it much harder for future projects including the Shepparton bypass and a new Yarrawonga Mulwala Bridge.”

“We are back to the bad old days of pitting regional projects against metropolitan ones and
expecting the regions to compete on a different model of national priority and economic benefit, a model that we know makes it nearly impossible to justify projects like the Shepparton Bypass.”

“This approach fails to understand the importance of projects to regional cities, and the critical role they play in increasing productivity and prosperity.”

Mr Birrell said more bad news is contained in the documentation released by the government only creating infrastructure corridors for the Princes Highway and Western Highway.

“There is no pipeline of projects for Northern Victoria, a major hub for agricultural production and a key freight route,” Mr Birrell said.

“I am also concerned about the future of funding provided directly to local government which Minister King is yet to detail following the review.”

“What is clear is that I will keep fighting for critical infrastructure to be built in the region,
including the bypass.” 

Media Contact:

Media Advisor Federal Member for Nicholls Sam Birrell MP
Morgan Dyer