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MEDIA RELEASE - Funding win for Green Triangle Freight Routes

18 March 2019

The missing link of the Green Triangle Freight Action Plan has today been delivered by the Federal Government securing the economic prosperity of the region’s export sector.

Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Michael McCormack joined Member for Wannon the Honourable Dan Tehan to announce $80 million across four key freight routes leading to the Port of Portland.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the action group’s advocacy work to date had fetched a total of $180 million for the region between the State and Federal Governments’ - a record regional road funding spend.

She said the investment equated to the original funding request from the 2016 released Green Triangle Freight Action Plan.

“This is a historic day for our region. This funding is going to firstly improve the safety of all road users on our key arterial routes. It will also ensure these important freight routes, our busiest roads, are upgraded to a high standard to protect the productivity of our key export sectors, providing further efficiency gains to make our region even more competitive,” Cr Rank said.

“We are extremely proud of the work of the Green Triangle Freight Action committee who have worked tirelessly over the past decade to put our roads on the national agenda. Our advocacy has been passionately delivered to all levels of government and our message has been heard - we are extremely grateful for this historic funding commitment.”

Green Triangle Freight Action committee chair and Glenelg Shire councillor Karen Stephens said the advocacy group had “commanded attention” due to its ongoing advocacy efforts, which had illustrated the true toll of the region’s broken road network.

She said campaign videos had fetched hundreds of thousands of views on social media, with the community joining the campaign to “fix our key freight roads”.

“The collaboration of two states, working closely with industry and government has generated the formula for this excellent funding outcome,” Cr Stephens said, “this is extremely exciting news for our region, particularly our hard working transport sector who are the backbone of our economy”.

“The hard work in formulating the Green Triangle Freight Action Plan provided the strong evidence base to illustrate the economic and social benefits of investing in this broken freight route.

“Across the region we are seeing road construction crews work tirelessly in rebuilding road pavements to cope with this growing freight task and we welcome more work into the future due to this historic investment.”

She said the planning of new windfarms across regional Victoria was forcing greater pressure on key freight routes, with the need for more over dimensional vehicle use. In addition, the Federal Government’s focus on growing the timber industry nationally with the creation of new forestry hubs had the potential to place further pressure on key freight routes.

“When we started this plan more than a decade ago we were anticipating growth of between 300 to 700 per cent largely due to the timber industry. We reached those staggering figures earlier than anticipated and are now on the cusp of a new growth sector with the arrival of the biggest wind turbines ever seen on Australian shores,” Cr Stephens said.

“Our economic prosperity is reliant on a good road network and we look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of this critical investment on four of our key freight routes, including the Princes Highway, Henty Highway, Portland-Nelson Road and Portland-Casterton Road.”

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