Shepparton would have a revitalised CBD with hundreds of new jobs if the long delayed Goulburn Valley Bypass was to be built, a new report has found.
At the Greater Shepparton City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council adopted an updated economic assessment which had a detailed look at how the bypass could change the city.
The Shepparton Bypass Economics Benefits Assessment Update, which was produced for the council by construction and consultancy group Aecom Australia, found that Shepparton could expect strong population growth in coming decades.
It found that if the bypass was to go ahead, 220 new jobs could be created in the CBD as a result of improved safety and amenity there due to the freeing up of traffic.
The report was unanimously adopted by the council, and councillors agreed that it vindicated the benefits of the proposed bypass.
Cr Fern Summer said the thorough report gave the council a convincing argument in lobbying governments for the proposed bypass.
‘‘It needs to be front of mind when we talk to any regional body or member of government,’’ Cr Summer said.
‘‘This needs to happen; I’ve heard people say ‘everyone wants a bypass, what makes you so special?’ — well, this economic report makes us so special and no-one seems to have one that stacks up as well as ours.’’
Cr Dennis Patterson said he was confident Shepparton might have good news about the bypass in the next 12 months.
‘‘It will happen, it’s just a matter of when,’’ he said.
The bypass has long been a topic of discussion since it was first proposed back in 1995, but so far there has not been a commitment from state or federal governments to stump up the estimated $1.2billion price tag for the full 36km project.
A statement released from state upper house Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell suggested it was possible that funding could come from the recent sale of the Port of Melbourne.
Ms Lovell wrote to Roads Minister Luke Donnellan to seek confirmation that the bypass would be considered through the Port of Melbourne lease proceeds.
‘‘In his response to my letter the minister confirmed that proposals for the bypass will be considered for funding from the Port of Melbourne lease proceeds,’’ Ms Lovell said in a statement.
‘‘Having confirmed that the Shepparton Bypass will be considered for funding, the minister must now act to ensure that the bypass is considered a priority for at least funding of the first stage.’’