House debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Statements by Members

Echuca-Moama Bridge

1:34 pm

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Nicholls, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It is with tremendous pride that I bring to the House's attention that, on Sunday 10 April, the largest transport infrastructure project in northern Victoria, the Echuca-Moama bridge, is set to open. This $323 million project has been driven by the Nationals in government in three different jurisdictions. I was part of the state Nationals in 2013 when we put $96 million on the table, and then, in 2016, as a candidate for Nicholls, we were able to negotiate with our federal minister, Darren Chester, and also the New South Wales National Party roads minister to put their two parcels of money on the table at the same time.

This new river crossing will transform the region and offer a second crossing in border towns that, for 140 years, have simply been putting up with a single river crossing. Currently 25,000 vehicles a day, including 1,500 heavy vehicles, use the existing bridge. The new river crossing will reduce traffic going through the main street of Echuca by 10,000 cars a day, making it much safer. Most importantly, the new crossing over the Campaspe and Murray rivers will slash operating costs for the freight industry. More than 400 direct jobs and more than 1,100 indirect jobs were created during the construction phase, and many local businesses were able to take advantage of those jobs. The new Echuca-Moama Bridge is a testament to the Nationals in government delivering for regional Australia.