Review controls: Fast-track calls on bridge heritage review

SWAN Hill Rural City Council has urged the NSW road authority to fast-track a review of the heritage controls on the Swan Hill bridge. 

A review of the controls, and the possibility of moving them on to the Tooleybuc bridge — which is structurally similar — would allow for the option of a bridge on the existing alignment to be explored. 

Swan Hill lift-span bridge.

Swan Hill lift-span bridge.

Council also resolved at last week's ordinary meeting to write to the office of Environment and Heritage NSW, calling for a review of the heritage controls on the Murray River bridge crossing. 

In both forms of correspondence, council asked recipients to consider the Murray River crossings investment priority assessment report — which places the Swan Hill bridge as the number one priority for replacement — the community's "deep dissatisfaction" with the 9A alignment, and the desire to explore the feasibility of the existing alignment option. 

Local and federal members will also be briefed on the subject. 

Swan Hill Rural City Council chief executive officer John McLinden handed down a report of a joint meeting between council and Murray River Council (MRC) on the replacement of the Swan Hill bridge. 

"This report provides a bit of background, and I think it is only a bit of background on what has been a very, very long saga," Mr McLinden said. 

"This report details that the two municipalities are in furious and joyous agreement that this has taken way too long and we need to push things along, the way the recommendations in the report have been given."

Mr McLinden said discussions with the working party formed between the two municipalities and NSW RMS had revealed the review of heritage controls to be a "long winded and laborious process". 

"The working party has formed the view that we're not talking months, we could be talking years here," Mr McLinden said. 

Cr Les McPhee moved the motion.

"You will find the majority of our town, our municipality, is against 9A, where it goes from there the town may be a little bit divided," he said.

"The option of looking at the same alignment has never been considered because of the heritage listing, if it is possible to get that removed I think it will be a win-win for everyone on both sides of the river."

To read more of this story, grab a copy of the November 28 edition of The Guardian. 

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