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December 17, 2015

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is supporting East Gippsland Shire Council’s application to upgrade an ageing wooden bridge over the Mitchell River near Glenaladale.

The Lindenow-Glenaladale Rd bridge, between Woodglen and Iguana Creek, is strategically important for the local farming sector and provides reliable access during emergencies such as bushfires and floods.

Mr Chester said the increased reliance on the bridge meant it would be a strong candidate to attract funding under the Federal Government’s $300 million Bridges Renewal Programme.

“The bridge provides a link to markets for local producers, who play an important role in driving the East Gippsland economy,” Mr Chester said.

“And it also ensures local residents can maintain road access when the Mitchell River is at flood, due to its high deck level.

“These reasons combined make the bridge a strong candidate to attract funding and I have been lobbying my federal colleague and Minister for Infrastructure Warren Truss on the importance of providing an upgrade.”

The $300 million Bridges Renewal Programme aims to drive greater efficiency in road freight and traffic movement, by assisting local governments to upgrade bridges.

East Gippsland Shire Council has a number of older, timber bridges that require constant renewal.

Council’s Director Operations, Chris Waites, said the bridge was one of the largest of Council’s remaining timber bridges and required significant annual maintenance to maintain its current load rating.

“Without a full replacement, it is very likely that load restrictions will be required in the future,” Mr Waites said.

“With the fire season now upon us, it is a reminder once again of the importance of safe and viable transport links for communities in rural areas.”

CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester with East Gippsland Shire Council Director Operations Chris Waites inspecting the wooden bridge over the Mitchell River near Glenaladale.

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