Ayres Secures Victoria Bridge Commitment

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Tuesday, 15 June 2010

\"image-vicbridge100515\"Shadow Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today visited the Victoria Bridge to respond to Liberal Candidate for Penrith Stuart Ayres' Victoria Bridge Community Taskforce's call for a feasibility study into the Victoria Bridge upgrade.

The Victoria Bridge Community Taskforce wrote to the State Labor Government and the NSW Liberals & Nationals requesting they commit to a feasibility study to be conducted into the options for the bridge, with a timeframe of work to commence in the first twelve months of a new Government and to be completed by December 31, 2013.

"Stuart has fought hard for a commitment to upgrade Victoria Bridge and his approach, through the Taskforce, has highlighted the importance of making this vital piece of infrastructure safe for Penrith and lower mountains residents," Ms Berejiklian said.

"I'm pleased to announce a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will undertake a feasibility study into a Victoria Bridge upgrade within the first 12 months of government.\"

The feasibility study will examine the Victoria Bridge Community Taskforce's suggested options:

  1. Cantilever on the northern side
  2. Cantilever on the southern side
  3. Pathway across the middle of the bridge
  4. New stand alone bridge

"We call on the State Labor Government to commence a feasibility study now, so that work can commence on Victoria Bridge upgrades sooner," Ms Berejiklian said.

"Completing the feasibility study is the first important step in securing the funding needed for the Victoria Bridge upgrade.

"The study is needed so that we can identify which of the Taskforce's options most appropriately delivers safety upgrades, whilst protecting the Bridge's heritage value and maintaining structural safety," Ms Berejiklian said.

Liberal Candidate for Penrith Stuart Ayres said he hopes the State Labor Government shows the same level of commitment to upgrading Victoria Bridge.

"I'm very pleased the NSW Liberals & Nationals have responded so positively and most importantly have agreed to a strict timeframe for completing the feasibility study, so that the community knows we are ready to deliver," Mr Ayres said.

"I will continue to work with the Victoria Bridge Taskforce in an effort to force the State Labor Government to expedite plans to upgrade the bridge.

"Unfortunately it appears Labor's commitment to the bridge is in never-never land, with an investigation into the upgrade not to be complete until 2015 and no money in the budget."

Ms Berejiklian said the only way to see Victoria Bridge upgraded is to elect a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government and the first step to start the change is to elect Stuart Ayres as the Member for Penrith on 19 June.