The Andrews Labor Government today unveiled a $25 million fund to upgrade local roads, intersections and bridges used by Victorian farmers, food transporters and agribusinesses – made possible through the lease of the Port of Melbourne.
Minister for Roads and Acting Minister for Agriculture Luke Donnellan today visited Moolort in Central Victoria to encourage rural, regional, and outer-suburban councils to apply for funding for critical upgrades.
The Local Roads to Market Program is funded by the Labor Government’s flagship $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF), and will strengthen the competitiveness of Victoria’s agriculture industry.
The AIJF is in addition to more than $970 million that will flow to regional and rural Victoria following the lease of the Port of Melbourne for $9.7 billion, and will drive economic growth in the regions, creating jobs.
Tight intersections, gravel roads and low load bridges are a real barrier to high-productivity trucks and their transport routes.
These road network problems are major frustrations for food and fibre producers who want to get their product to market as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
The Local Roads to Market Program fund will support better connections to arterial roads and better links to national highway freight networks.
The Government is working closely with the Victorian Farmer’s Federation on the roll out of the fund and has written to all local councils encouraging them to apply.
The Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund is available for practical projects and programs that benefit the agriculture sector, including transport, irrigation, and energy projects, as well as skills development programs and market access campaigns.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Acting Minister for Agriculture Luke Donnellan
“Our priority is ensuring that farmers can get produce from paddock to port safely and more efficiently.”
“The lease of the Port of Melbourne means dedicated funding will go to regional and rural Victoria, helping create jobs and increasing investment in vital infrastructure.”
“Stronger bridges, larger turning circles, sealed roads, and wider roundabouts are the practical projects we can undertake to improve agribusiness and improve country roads for all users.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020