Bridge program goes too far – Opposition

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TWO bridges under the Mornington Peninsula Freeway are to be strengthened under a state government $35.8 million “stronger bridges program”.

The bridges spanning Devilbend Creek and Tuerong Creek at Tuerong are two of 48 listed for work in “regional Victoria”.

The state Opposition says 10 of the bridges on the list are within four kilometres of the suburban Mulgrave electorate of Premier Daniel Andrews.

Mr Andrews and Roads Minister Luke Donnellan went to Traralgon to announce the funding to strengthen the bridges.

The first stage of the bridge-building exercise will concentrate on 17 “priority bridges that have deteriorated to such an extent that semi-trailers and B-doubles cannot use them”.

“We’re improving productivity for our freight industry and reducing costly detours. It’s good for regional Victoria and it’s good for business,” Mr Andrews said.

Mr Donnellan said some bridge work “will wipe up to 70 kilometres off the length of the route”.

The Opposition sees the bridge program as an opportunity to attack the government, with Liberal party media adviser Michelle Zydower urging MPs “to proactively push it to all regional papers, TVs, radios, newsletters and social media”.

“The interactive map has been very popular with journalists I have spoken to, so I would suggest sending that around to any additional media you do,” Ms Zydower stated in a letter to MPs.

“Regional media would probably be interested in a photo with you at a local bridge that requires maintenance or replacement and may normally have money directed from the Country Roads and Bridges Program.”

Ms Zydower attached a news release from Opposition roads spokesman Ryan Smith which could be adapted for “a local media release to make it more relevant to your papers”.

First published in the Western Port News – 13 October 2015

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