South Gippsland farmers are set to get produce from farm to market more efficiently with the announcement today of the Andrews Labor Government’s Local Roads to Market Program.

Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford announced nearly $800,000 toward the cost of upgrading important agricultural transport routes in the region.

Local Roads to Market is helping fund the widening and sealing of 7km of Labertouche North Road and the reconstruction of Powneys Road Bridge.

Labertouche North Road is used by local dairy, beef, agriculture suppliers, emergency services vehicles and residents, but is an unsealed gravel road in poor condition that poses serious safety concerns.

Powneys Road Bridge is a timber deck bridge no longer suitable for dairy and cattle farmers using heavier vehicles and will be replaced with a 14m-long concrete bridge.

Local Roads to Market is a key pillar of the Labor Government’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF)  and supports rural, regional and outer-suburban councils improve the connections between the farm gate, receival points and markets.

The Labor Government recognises that first and last mile accessibility is integral to meeting Victoria’s freight task.

Round one of the Local Roads to Market is funding 30 projects throughout regional and rural Victoria to the tune of $11.5 million supporting $22 million worth of works covering 27 local government areas.

The funding will be used to seal local dirt roads, widen intersections, strengthen bridges and upgrade strategically significant country arterials.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“Agriculture is one of this state’s most important industries and we’re determined to help our farmers more easily get their product to market – this is about local jobs and supporting the local economy.”

“We are 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.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“South Gippsland Shire told us the best ways to make local agricultural and transport businesses run better – we’ve listened, and we have funded the reconstruction of Powneys Road Bridge and Labertouche North Road.”