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Echuca Bridge planning moves into new phase

Friday, 28 June 2013
Planning for a second Murray River crossing for Echuca is ready to progress to the next stage, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder announced today.
Mr Mulder said that a response to the Environment Effects Statement (EES) referral to the Minister for Planning had been received, which will require an EES assessment to be prepared for a second bridge at Echuca.
“The EES process involves bringing together all the investigations that have been undertaken by VicRoads to date that cover the physical, environmental, heritage, cultural, social and economic impacts of a second bridge crossing into a comprehensive assessment,” Mr Mulder said.
“The EES process will include the appointment of a Technical Reference Group, made up of members from key government agencies, local government and relevant statutory authorities, who will help guide VicRoads in its preparation of the report.
“The EES process will focus on ensuring that the best possible alignment for a second Murray River crossing is identified.
“There has been a significant body of work that VicRoads has undertaken to date that will form the basis of this process, including traffic, social, noise, economic, flora and fauna, land use planning, environment and cultural heritage perspective studies undertaken on options within the current Mid-West 2 corridor and the previously investigated Mid west corridor.”
Mr Mulder said there were significant benefits by incorporating the most recent planning investigation findings with the information from previous studies, as it ensures that all potential options will be thoroughly assessed.
“The final scope for the EES process will now be defined and preparation of the assessment will commence as soon as possible,” Mr Mulder said.
“The final EES report, which will include the results from all technical investigations and outcomes from consultation activities, will then be placed on public exhibition for community comment .
“The outcome of the EES process is to identify the best option for the new crossing and have the land identified and reserved in the Shire’s planning scheme to provide assurance of an approved route when funding is available.”
Member for Rodney Paul Weller welcomed the announcement today.
“This is good news for a second bridge crossing at Echuca Moama,” Mr Weller said. 
“It is an important milestone and I am very pleased that the Minister has announced the beginning of the process.” 
The EES process will take around 12 months to complete.
Further information about the EES process and ways the community can contribute is available on the Department of Planning and Community Development website: www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/planning/environment­assessment
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