March 2013 update:
Plans for an eastern interchange in Bacchus Marsh have been ditched, with new works on Halletts Way announced by the government according to the Melton & Moorabool Weekly (11 March 2014).
“Feedback from the Bacchus Marsh community showed strong support for freeway ramps at Halletts Way and preservation of cultural heritage,” Minister for Road Terry Mulder said.
Avenue of Honour Preservation Group spokesman Damien Strangio said he had been “verbally assured” that trees on Bacchus Marsh’s memorial drive would not be touched as part of the $30 million project.
The campaign to save the Bacchus March Avenue of Honour from the removal of trees for the construction of a roundabout and truck bypass started in October 2009. In January 2012 we were delighted to report that the Avenue of Honour in Bacchus Marsh would be retained in its entirety, following a welcome decision by Planning Minister Matthew Guy to refuse a permit for the removal of five mature elm trees and for the construction of a large roundabout. We worked hard with the local community, in particular the Avenue Preservation Inc., to campaign against the roundabout and tree removal.
Minister Guy’s press release in January 2012 sated: “I have considered an independent report by the Heritage Council Permits Committee and believe it is critical to ensure the continuous and uninterrupted nature of this significant cultural heritage landmark,” Mr Guy said.
“There are other alternatives to the proposed roadwork by VicRoads which will now be examined to provide similar improvements for road transport,” Mr Guy said.