The Andrews Labor Government is investing in better roads and bridges across north west Victoria to enable primary producers to get their goods to market more efficiently.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford today announced more than $1.4 million in upgrades through the Labor Government’s Local Roads to Market Program.
The funding will be used to:
- replace the 96-year old Albacutya Bridge at Rainbow
- upgrade and realign Feders-Collins Road, Station Road and K Clarks Road, all of which serve GrainCorp’s Lillimur receival site
- upgrade Dimboola-Minyip Road
- improve access to the Wilken Grain Receival Centre at Warracknabeal
- seal Winfields Road in Laharum.
Local agricultural producers will benefit from better connections to the state arterial road and rail network, better heavy vehicle routes, reduced freight costs and time for farmers, and better access to receival centres.
The Local Roads to Market program is a key pillar of the Labor Government’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) and supports rural, regional and outer-suburban councils to improve the connections between the farm gate, receival points and markets.
In its National Road Asset Reporting Pilot, Infrastructure Australia emphasised the importance of addressing the ‘first and last mile’ freight access problems, noting “restrictions on heavy vehicle access on smaller roads at the beginning and end of journeys can damage the overall productivity of the task”.
Round one of the Local Roads to Market Program is funding 29 projects worth $22.2 million, in 26 local government authorities across regional and rural Victoria.
Local councils have contributed significantly, with Yarriambiack, Horsham, West Wimmera and Hindmarsh contributing more than $600,000 to these projects.
More information about the AIJF is available at agriculture.vic.gov.au/infrastructure
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“We’re making improvements where it counts – sealing Victoria’s bumpy gravel roads, fixing tight and dangerous intersections and strengthening bridges to get our great produce to market quickly and in top quality condition.”
“These upgrades will boost agribusiness and supply chain productivity and improve the country road network for all users.”
“Victoria’s local governments have told us the best ways to make local agricultural and transport businesses run better – we have listened, and we have funded these improvements.”