Opinion

Maude St bus interchange and plaza project given green light

By Shepparton News

One imagines some at Greater Shepparton City Council yesterday breathed a sigh of relief upon learning the Maude St bus interchange and plaza project was finally being given some assistance.

The project had been the subject of three separate past unsuccessful funding applications to the Federal Government.

While this project could have been overlooked for any number of reasons, Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said the project fund was over-subscribed and that for every project included in each funding round, there were likely many more that could not be.

Asked about it yesterday, Mr Drum said it was common for projects to be remodelled and resubmitted into future rounds of the fund. Thankfully the time for the project, set to open the doors to focus on the next stage in the council’s CBD revitalisation project, has arrived.

Past rejections have been met with disappointment from some at the council, suggestions that the project would likely be delayed, project timing reassessed, and the comment that the project would unlikely be completed without some government assistance.

It is also positive that the council has had the persistence to ‘‘remodel’’ and ‘‘revamp’’ the project in each application. Its persistence surely also speaks to the project’s value.

The council yesterday downplayed the impact of the delay, arguing the end completed project would be the same, regardless of whether the project was funded a number of years ago, or yesterday.

The main difference being instead that the council will need to chip in a larger sum to see it completed.

While the delay has been frustrating, importantly work is now as good as under way playing catch up.

Early works have begun, some stages look set to be worked on concurrently, but most importantly the funding is in place.

While the council seems to have made recent moves towards ensuring multiple parts of the CBD revitalisation project can be tackled simultaneously in the event one stage is unsuccessful in securing funding, it can now place efforts and attention into other areas.

The funding is welcome and once completed, the project will make vast and much-needed improvements to the south of the CBD.

Busses and traffic will move more smoothly through the Vaughan and Maude St areas, an additional public space will be established at the forthcoming bus interchange, public toilets will be established and the Maude St strip between Ashenden St and High St will result in welcome aesthetic improvements.

Pat on the back for the resilience shown in ensuring the project was funded, and for the Federal Government for realising its importance to the city and coming to the party.