MOYNE Shire mayor Jim Doukas has defied long-running support for a bypass around Port Fairy, labelling it “a pipe dream” unlikely to happen.
The mayor says trucks should instead be shifted on to roads north of the town to reduce accidents.
The council is yet to hear back from VicRoads about a proposed bypass path from Rosebrook across farmland linking up with the Princes Highway near the town’s industrial estate.
Cr Doukas said the town’s development would eventually encroach on the new highway.
“It’s in VicRoads’ hands so it’s entirely up to them and the way VicRoads are funded I’d say the chances of a bypass are a long way off,” Cr Doukas said. “Port Fairy is growing on that side of town and before long there will be houses built around it.”
The proposed path cuts through one of only a few areas in Port Fairy available for green field development.
A new flood report has urged a halt to building more homes in the north-east and council is yet to come up with a structure plan for the west.
“The alternative I think is an alternative truck route north of Port Fairy down Spencer Road to divert the traffic,” Cr Doukas said.
“There is more and more traffic coming down the Port Fairy-Hamilton Highway.”
VicRoads told The Standard plans for the bypass were still on the table, although funding was not.
“There is a two-kilometre section at the eastern end which is not included in the scheme due to the existence of heritage-listed properties,”acting VicRoads south western regional director, Mick McCarthy said.
“VicRoads is currently working with Moyne Shire regarding options to finalise the remaining section.
“There are no immediate plans or funding to construct a bypass of Port Fairy.
“Whilst Spencer Road is an arterial road, it’s strategic importance is significantly lower than the Princes Highway West as it does not provide a strategic link between key destinations,” Mr McCarthy said.