Mallee road upgrades welcomed in light of rail future

Liberal Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone has welcomed a $2.3 million investment into vital Mallee highways and the continued operation of rail infrastructure in the Riverland and Mallee for a further 12 months.

Liberal Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone has welcomed a $2.3 million investment into vital Mallee highways and the continued operation of rail infrastructure in the Riverland and Mallee for a further 12 months.
 
Mr Whetstone, whose electorate covers the Riverland and Mallee, has fought to keep rail lines operational to provide some short term certainty for grain transport in the coming harvest.
 
With no guarantee for the future of the rail lines beyond 12 months, Mr Whetstone has worked with stakeholders to ensure a road maintenance program will be put in place on the Karoonda and Mallee highways under pressure from increased freight movements.
 
“Today’s announcement that the State Government will invest $2.3 million into major roads in the Mallee is a win for the local community,” Mr Whetstone said.
 
“The Karoonda and Mallee highways are already in desperate need of maintenance and will be even more so with thousands of extra truck movements.
 
“On behalf of the community I will continue to push the State Government to invest in these major freight routes.”
 
Mr Whetstone said the 12 month rail agreement for Viterra to transport grain provides some short term certainty for growers after months of negotiations.
 
“There were concerns amongst the community about the future of the commercial rail lines for the coming season and how a cessation of operations could have impacted grain transport in what is shaping to be a good harvest,” Mr Whetstone said.

“I welcome the commitment from Viterra to operate rail infrastructure in the Murray Mallee for a further year but we now need to look at the long term future of grain movements in the region.”

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