Mr O'Sullivan (Northern Victoria) — The action I am seeking is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety to meet with concerned residents of Kilmore in relation to the new route chosen for the Kilmore bypass at the north end and consult with them over the new proposed route.
Along with my colleague the member for Euroa in the Assembly, I met with some concerned residents from Kilmore in relation to the new route that had just been chosen for the Kilmore bypass. Previously the government through VicRoads had proposed a route near the Goulburn Valley treatment plant at the north end of the proposed bypass. On Tuesday, 7 February, on the front page of the Kilmore North Central Review newspaper a member for Northern Victoria Region, Ms Symes, had a big colour photo of her announcing a new route. The new route was a complete surprise to all the residents impacted by the announcement. They were not consulted, they were not informed and they were very shocked and angry at the lack of respect in relation to the way this announcement was made and that they had had to read about it on the front page of the newspaper. The new route for a freeway with trucks and cars going past is just 30 metres from a house with a family living in it.
But what the impacted residents found particularly galling was the fact that the independent investigation conducted by reputable company RMCG into the Wandong interchange, or the south end of the bypass, was highly critical of the government for a lack of consultation with local residents. The report recommended better communications with local residents, better engagement with residents, the establishment of a stakeholder working group and better communication in relation to planning for the northern end of the project.
The people who are directly impacted by the proposed new route have had many sleepless nights worrying about the impact of the route. They have a thousand questions and very few answers. The residents that have a proposed new freeway going just 30 metres from their house certainly deserve some answers. So the action I seek is that the Minister for Roads and Road Safety meet with the impacted residents to hear their views on the new road and give them the decency of a fair hearing with proper consultation.