MP raises bypass issue in Parliament

By Rhys Williams

Local MP Bill Tilley has advocated on behalf of an angered Rutherglen community in Parliament, as the proposed Rutherglen truck reroute continues to strike a discord with local residents.

The member for Benambra raised the issue to the Victorian State Parliament last week, seeking for the Minister for Road Safety, Jaala Pulford, to put a stop to any further expenditure, planning or consultation for Regional Roads Victoria’s latest alternative truck route through the town of Rutherglen.

“Last week in the Victorian Parliament I called on the roads minister to put a stop to this folly – not to waste one more cent of the remaining $3 million on this hare-brained scheme,” Mr Tilley said.

“The minister has in the past shown a willingness to listen to common sense and act in the public good – she now has a month to respond to me but hopefully will act sooner than that.”

Two weeks ago Rutherglen residents were blindsided by a letter that was delivered by Regional Roads Victoria, proposing a preferred route through Douglas Street, Reid Street and Scott Street, to take heavy vehicles out of the main street.

Mr Tilley, who has long been a proponent of a truck bypass for the town, said the proposed route is a futile solution.

“This isn’t fixing the problem – it’s just moving it 50m and hoping for the best,” he told The Free Press.

“I haven’t found anyone who thinks this is the solution – residents hate it; truckies and transport associations say it will add to their costs and have expressed concerns with narrow roundabouts and hairpin bends.