|More than $1.4 million in funding was announced yesterday for five significant road projects in the Wimmera, including the replacement of the Albacutya bridge and the Dimboola-Minyip Road in the Hindmarsh Shire.
The Victorian Government is investing in better roads and bridges across north west Victoria to enable primary producers to get their goods to market more efficiently through the Local Roads to Market Program.
In the Wimmera the funding will be used to:
replace the 96-year old Albacutya Bridge over Outlet Creek, north of Rainbow
upgrade Dimboola-Minyip Road
improve access to the Wilken Grain Receival Centre east of Warracknabeal
upgrade and realign Feders-Collins Road, Station Road and K Clarks Road, all of which serve GrainCorp’s Lillimur receival site
seal Winfields Road in Laharum.
The Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP praised a successful community campaign which has helped secure the funding for these upgrades, in particular the Albacutya Bridge, pictured above.
“I have been working closely with community groups and businesses for several years to get this funding and it is great that our lobbying has finally paid dividends”, Ms Kealy said.
“The Hindmarsh Shire Council and local community have worked tirelessly with me to obtain funding to replace the Albacutya Bridge, which is almost one hundred years old and at risk of closure due to age related structural damage. The bridge is a vital link for farmers, gypsum pit operators, school buses and tourists.
Local councils have contributed significantly to all of these projects, with Yarriambiack, Horsham, West Wimmera and Hindmarsh contributing more than $600,000 to these projects.
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 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”.