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Tuesday, 4 April 2000
Page: 15213

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 15 February 2000:

(1) How many bridges cross the Murray River between NSW and Victoria.

(2) Has an assessment been made by his Department, or discussions held with the NSW and Victorian Governments, concerning the roadworthiness of the bridges; if so, what were the findings.

(3) Who has responsibility for the construction and maintenance of each bridge and what proposals are in place to replace or upgrade the bridges by the Federal, NSW and Victorian Governments.

Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) There are 28 bridges that cross the Murray River between NSW and Victoria.

(2) nad (3) Road funding is a responsibility of all levels of government. As agreed by Heads of Government in 1991, the Commonwealth has responsibility for the National Highway System, the States for costs of State arterial roads, and local government for local roads. The Commonwealth is therefore only responsible for bridges on the National Highway at Albury, Tocumwal and Mildura.

Both the NSW and Victorian Governments have made an assessment of Murray River bridges on the National Highway that may be affected by the increase in mass limits for heavy vehicles. None of these bridges require upgrading to meet this requirement.

The Federal Government is however providing Federation Funds, to a limit of $44 million, for the replacement of three bridges on the Murray River at Euchea/Moama, Robinvale/Euston and Corowa/Wahgunyah.

Community consultation and the route selection process have commenced for these bridges.