Cardinia Shire’s agriculture sector will soon be transporting better quality produce to market, more efficiently with support from the Victorian state government.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford today announced a $90,000 investment from the second round of grants through the Labor Government’s Local Roads to Market program.
Pulford said, “The Koo Wee Rup community knows Agriculture is one of this state’s most important industries and we’re delighted to work with growers and local councils to deliver these grants.”
“Our farm businesses and their supply chains will see improved productivity and be in a better position to compete in international markets because of this investment.”
“These upgrades will improve agribusiness and supply chain productivity and improve the country road network for all users.”
The grant, along with a co-investment from Cardinia Shire Council and industry, will construct and seal the last remaining section of Island Road in Koo Wee Rup.
The Island Road upgrades will seal the gravel section, reduce dust contamination and bruising during transportation, and improve the quality of produce freighted from farms and parking sheds in the area.
Koo Wee Rup and the adjoining Dalmore area produces most of Victoria’s asparagus. More than 7,500 tonnes of produce grown, picked and transported to market each season, with over 60 per cent exported to Asia.
It will be especially beneficial for local primary producers near this section of unsealed road, who transport millions of dollars in produce on the road each year.
The $25 million Local Roads to Market program is a key pillar of the Labor Government’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund and supports rural, regional and outer-suburban councils to improve road transport connections.
The Island Road upgrade is one of 39 projects worth $24 million to be delivered under the second round of the program. The first funded 29 projects worth $22.2 million across regional and rural Victoria in 2017.