The Wimmera Mallee’s agriculture sector will soon be transporting produce to market with the Victorian state government’s Local Roads to Market program.
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford had announced the $5.54 million through round two of the program to widen a dangerously narrow 1.5 kilometre-section of Minyip-Banyena Road in the Yarriambiack Shire to improve access for heavy vehicles to cart grain and other produce.
It’s one of 17 local road and bridge upgrades across eight shire councils in the region that will share in nearly $10 million to improve heavy vehicle access from the farmgate to arterial roads, receival centres and transport hubs.
The grants will be used to widen and seal roads, improve the load bearing capacity of bridges and intersection works, and fund the following key projects in the Wimmera Mallee region:
- $1.3 million to seal and widen roads that service the large grain community in the Yarriambiack Shire.
- $1.2 million for the Yeungroon Road and Birchip-Corack Road projects in the Buloke Shire, improving access for B-Doubles to grain storage facilities and to transportation hubs like the Geelong port.
- $750,000 for the Meridian South Road Widening project to widen and seal a further 6 kilometre section of road, improving the quality of produce transported from the region to the arterial network, as well as bypassing the townships of Mildura, Irymple and Red Cliffs.
- $700,000 for the Antwerp-Woorak Road and Rainbow-Nhill projects, improving access to markets for heavy vehicles in the Hindmarsh Shire and the broader region.
- $548,000 for the Annuello-Wemen Road and O’Connor Lane projects to improve roads for almond and produce farms in Swan Hill Shire.
- $687,000 in the Northern Grampians Shire for three projects to upgrade bridges and an intersection as well as bridges in the Logan area to support local piggeries and farms.
- $128,500 to complete the final stage of the Wonwondah-Dadswells Bridge Road upgrade in Horsham Shire and $90,000 to support Gannawarra Shire to improve access to the Quambatook grain receival centre.
- The Wimmera Mallee upgrades are part of 39 projects worth $24 million under Round Two of the program. Round One funded 29 projects worth $22.2 million across regional and rural Victoria in 2017.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said, “The Local Roads to Market program is supporting farming communities throughout the Wimmera Mallee, ensuring their top-quality grain, livestock and vegetable produce makes it to market as quickly and safely as possible. These important road and bridge upgrades will improve the competitiveness of agribusinesses across the Wimmera Mallee and improve the safety of country roads for all users.”