Key transport stakeholders from two states and seven local government areas met in Mildura today for the launch of the Central Murray Regional Transport Strategy.
The strategy highlights key transport needs and challenges in the Sunraysia, Murray and Mallee regions on both sides of the Murray River and has identified the following 15 projects:
- Murray River bridges at Swan Hill and Tooleybuc
- Completion of the Murray Basin Rail Project
- Freight route priorities, including the Hattah-Robinvale Road
- Calder Highway duplication
- Improvements to east-west highway corridors – Sturt, Murray Valley, Sunraysia and Mallee highways
- Mildura truck bypass
- Improvements to tourist routes for Lake Mungo, Lake Tyrrell and the Silo Art Trail
- Supply chain study and intermodal opportunities in response to intensive horticulture development
- Capacity improvements for Swan Hill and Echuca passenger rail
- North West Passenger Transport Study – Mildura passenger rail
- Upgrading bridges and culverts in primary production areas
- Investment in tourism tracks and trails, in the Kerang, Koondrook, Cohuna and Swan Hill areas
- Better passenger transport connections
- Investigating a second bridge crossing at Mildura and rail connection from Mildura to Transcontinental Railway
- Implement Cross Border Commissioner for Victoria.
The new strategy is an initiative of the Central Murray Regional Transport Forum (CMRTF), which comprises Councillors and senior staff from the councils of Mildura, Swan Hill, Gannawarra, Buloke, Balranald, Wentworth and Murray River.
Forum chair and Swan Hill Rural City Council Mayor Ann Young said the strategy was a pivotal document for the Central Murray region.
“Transport infrastructure serves as the backbone for our industries, it ensures our communities can access the services they need and provides connectivity for our communities, which support our municipalities’ social and economic development,” Cr Young said.
“But transport routes aren’t confined to council boundaries, and that’s why it is essential for our councils to work together to advocate for priority transport projects.
“The projects, ideas and priorities in this new strategy will be used to advocate and plan for improved transport infrastructure and connectivity within our region.”
This week’s launch of the 2019 Central Murray Regional Transport Strategy will form part of a two-day meeting of the CMRTF on Wednesday and Thursday.
It will include a roundtable discussion involving key freight, local government and government representatives as well as site tours of major Mildura-based freight and industry sites and transport infrastructure upgrades.