Yorta Yorta fears quashed, Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga

THE Victorian Government has dismissed cultural heritage concerns raised by the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation on the Yarrawonga-Mulwala bridge grey route. The office of roads minister Luke Donnellan has issued a response to the Yorta Yorta fears contained in a letter sent to Upper House MP for northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, last week upon the revelation the grey route was firming to be selected. The Yorta Yorta corporation and Cummeragunja Local Aboriginal Land Council were on a steering committee to recommend a preferred route. Also, on the steering committee were VicRoads, NSW Road and Maritime Services and Moira and Corowa councils. The preferred route still hasnt been announced after detailed investigation of options commenced in 2009. All alignments have been discussed with both the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Cummeragunja Local Aboriginal Land Council, and both groups participated in the 2011 and 2012 heritage assessments of the sites which are guided by Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, a spokesperson for Mr Donnellan said. The assessments found no impacts on any identified heritage sites in relation to any of the planned route options. It is my understanding that the sand hill areas referred to by the YNAC would not be disturbed by the grey route. Yorta Yorta chief executive Tom Day cannot be reached for comment. Meanwhile, Moira Shire, which is backing the green route, has invited Mr Donnellan to Yarrawonga to discuss the preferred route. Yarrawonga-based councillor and former mayor Peter Mansfield instigated the invite following the recent support of the grey route by NSW roads minister Duncan Gay. The council is getting quite frustrated at the lack of action, he said. Weve known since 2000 the weir bridge is closing in 2020 and 15 years have passed by and we still dont have a route decided.