Relief at decision to keep key road open

In a victory for Bung Bong-Longs Road residents like Allan Steed (pictured), the key arterial road will remain open despite the beginning of the Murray Basin Rail Project and the re-opening of the Maryborough- Ararat railway line.

Bung Bong-Longs Road residents have scored a major victory in the at times bitter feud with V/Line, with Central Goldfields Shire Council confirming that the key arterial road will not close as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project.

With a potential closure looming for nearly 12 months, Bung Bong- Longs Road landholders breathed a huge sigh of relief on Wednesday when council confirmed the crossing on the Maryborough-Ararat railway line will remain open.

In mid-2016, V/Line and Public Transport Victoria earmarked several crossings along the Mary- borough-Ararat railway line in the Central Goldfields Shire to be closed for the $440 million Murray Basin project.

The dispute hit a boiling point when more than 70 people, including CFA members and Bung Bong, Moonlight, Adelaide Lead, Homebush and Wareek residents participated in a show of unity at the Bung Bong-Longs Road crossing in December last year.

As the road — which is the only direct route for residents to the Pyrenees Highway — runs north to south, residents and CFA members held grave concerns of potential fires in the north as evacuations points would be cut off and emergency service vehicles would not have access to the blaze, Bung Bong-Longs Road resident and the show of unity’s organiser, Allan Steed, said.

“We’re on the north side of the  death trap for us if a fire would occur. Access for emergency vehicles was a real concern to us,” he said.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Friday, July 14.

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