Letters to the editor

June 05, 2018

Initial Stages students perform Les Miserables at WestSide Performing Arts Centre, which is next door to Mooroopna Secondary College.

A place to perform

- Cath Birkett, Mooroopna

After seeing page one of the Shepparton News on June 2, I would like to suggest the college would be an excellent place for a Performing Arts College, with a theatre already in place, and partly contributed to by residents in the past.

I regret the demise of the college, with a growing community in the area, but if this must occur, I feel that students would travel from many areas to fulfil their dreams.

We certainly have the talent with teachers and students showing their willingness to work hard to succeed.

Listening to roads users

- Nicki Kyriakou. VicRoads regional director (north-east)

VicRoads has listened to the communities and businesses who told us, loud and clear, that the roads are not up to scratch to support the growing north-east.

The big takeaways from VicRoads’ community discussions in the north-east last year — from Seymour to Yarrawonga and Wodonga — was that our roads need to keep up with increased tourism, population and industry and that safety is a critical concern for drivers and cyclists.

VicRoads has also been going through the 300-plus submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Country Roads, listening to the frank and important feedback.

Our country roads need an overhaul and that’s what they’re now getting, with $333million in the Victorian budget to rebuild and repair regional roads and a new dedicated team to deliver it.

From upgrading the Kiewa Valley Hwy, Great Alpine Rd and Murray Valley Hwy, to planning for the Shepparton Alternative Route and Hume Fwy access at Wodonga, our roads will be made safer and fit for purpose with $37million of improvements in the north-east alone.

The need to work much more closely with local government has also been heard, with a $100million fund to rebuild and resurface local essential roads.

It’s not only about more money, though.

The new authority for regional roads — Regional Roads Victoria — will help address decades of under-investment and inattention, overseeing $27.4million of road maintenance in the north-east.

Championing the needs of country Victoria, it will give rural and regional Victorians a direct line of communications to VicRoads, and a clear focus on making the network safe and fit for a growing tourism, agribusiness and innovation economy.

Instead of looking at roads or bridges in isolation, we’re better understanding regional priorities and unlocking jobs and investment.

People in the north-east deserve roads they can rely on and this investment will make sure the roads are safer and more reliable than ever before.

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