The Andrews Labor Government will establish a new $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund to drive economic growth, create jobs, boost exports and support Victorian farmers from paddock to port.
Minister for Roads and Ports, Luke Donnellan today joined Member for Geelong Christine Couzens on the Princes Freeway in Lara to review a freight assessment plan VicRoads has undertaken looking at improving High Productivity Freight Vehicles (HPFV) access between Geelong and the Port of Melbourne
The new $200 million fund which will be established following the successful passage of the Port of Melbourne lease legislation through the Parliament will enable key freight routes such as the Princes Freeway to be upgraded to accommodate heavier vehicles and boost productivity.
The Labor Government has already fast-tracked $35.8 million to strengthen 48 bridges in regional Victoria, which will reduce transport costs for freight and increase economic benefits.
The broader fund will support investment in agricultural infrastructure and supply chains to boost productivity, increase exports and reduce costs so our farmers, businesses and industries can stay competitive.
It will be available for practical projects and programs that wholly benefit the agriculture sector, including transport, irrigation, and energy projects, as well as skills development programs and market access campaigns.
Eligible applicants will include farm businesses, industry and agribusiness organisations, asset owners such as water authorities and local government.
This Fund will ensure we’re investing in the infrastructure we need to help our farmers and producers get their goods to market faster so they can take advantage of new local and international opportunities.
Leasing the Port of Melbourne will make our port even better for Victorian farmers, increasing efficiencies and competitiveness, including a significant benefit from the Port’s decision to implement an export discount.
The Fund will be established following the successful passage of the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction) Bill 2015 which the Liberals and Nationals voted against in the Legislative Assembly.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan
"The Governments Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will become available following the passage of the Port of Melbourne Lease Bill and finalisation of guidelines.”
"The purpose of the Fund is to boost the agriculture sector’s competitiveness, maintain market access, increase exports and boost jobs growth across Victoria.”
"The fund will go towards projects such as road improvements to improve access for heavier vehicles such as trade between the Port of Geelong and the Port of Melbourne.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“Through this fund the Andrews Government will improve productivity for Geelong’s freight industry and reduce costly detours. It’s good for Geelong and it’s good for local business.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020