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Mooroopna railway station pledge

by
January 22, 2018

News reader Barry Campbell photographed the foundation of a temporary shelter at the Mooroopna Railway Station over the weekend.

State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said if the Victorian Government did not rebuild the Mooroopna Railway Station, a coalition government would if elected in November.

The Victorian Government stopped short of fleshing out plans for the destroyed site yesterday, but a spokesperson said it had acted quickly to get services back in operation.

‘‘V/Line are working to provide shelter and seating in the coming days and to reconnect power to the site,’’ a statement read.

‘‘The government will work with PTV and V/Line on next steps over the coming months.’’

Responding to this, Ms Lovell said this did not resemble a commitment to rebuild, reinforcing the need to consult the community on any direction forward.

Construction of a temporary shelter could be seen at the station as early as Saturday morning, less than two days after state opposition called for a rebuild.

Meanwhile, a Mooroopna-based former mayor believed an opportunity existed for a new station to be constructed with improved amenity, friendliness and usability of the precinct.

‘‘Hopefully something can be done, so it becomes more utilised,’’ Cr Dennis Patterson said.

Fire destroyed the historic Railway Station on January 13 — 138 years to the day it was opened.

Last week, Victorian Shadow Transport Minister David Davis called on the state government to quickly consult the community and push forward with a full restoration.

‘‘The community expects this will be restored quickly,’’ Mr Davis said.

‘‘The state government needs to come forward very quickly and indicate, number one, that they are going to fully restore it, and two, a process to do that swiftly.’’

V/Line told The News on Friday the shelter was expected to be complete on Saturday afternoon with permanent seating to be installed in coming weeks.

Mr Davis vowed to raise the matter in parliament when it resumed next month, but hoped it would be addressed before then.

Greater Shepparton City Council last week said it had no plans for redevelopment of the precinct, but Cr Patterson said there was a plan for the site, some years ago.

‘‘There was a plan to open it right up provide more access... going back six years... it never happened,’’ he said.

‘‘(We were) in negotiations with VicTrack for quite a while to get some serious access... (because) walking to the station was unfriendly.’’

Cr Patterson said he was hopeful something would be developed in future years.

‘‘Something has to be done with it... it was darkish at night, lots of old trees laying around, it wasn’t ideal.’’

A dark-coloured sedan could be the key to finding those responsible for the suspicious fire.

Shepparton police Detective Senior Constable Mick Guppy had become aware of a sedan seen in the vicinity of the fire, just before it was reported.

Shepparton’s Criminal Investigation Unit is appealing to witnesses or anyone with any information to phone Shepparton police station on 58205800 or to visit Crime Stoppers at www.

crimestoppersvic.com.au

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