Media Release – Tuesday 30 June 2020

SAFER AND MORE EFFICIENT FREIGHT MOVEMENTS THANKS TO GREEN TRIANGLE FREIGHT ACTION COMMITTEE

Green Triangle forest products are moving more safely and efficiently across the Green Triangle thanks to $40 million worth of investment in critical freight road works.

Asphalt pavement strengthening, resurfacing and rehabilitation works are included in the generous Regional Roads Victoria program which has been praised by the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub for assisting the industry to improve productivity, delivering product safely on key arterial roads.

There are more than 200,000 heavy vehicle movements to the Port of Portland each year carrying 7.5 million tonnes of cargo, largely made up of log and woodchip product, equating to $2 billion worth of trade.

Hub executive general manager Liz McKinnon said the industries partnership with the Green Triangle Freight Action Committee had allowed the forest and timber industries to have a direct voice to government on the key issues impacting workflow and safety, such as permit requirements for oversized vehicles.

“There are roadworks scattered all over the region which is testament to the hard work of this group which have developed a convincing business case for long-term road and infrastructure improvements in this region which is making it easier and safer for all industries to do business,” she said.

“Future work is targeting unrestricted access for 85.5 tonne high productivity freight vehicles which will be able to operate seamlessly from the SA border via the Princes Highway West and Henty Highway to key export gateways, such as the Port of Portland.

“This proposed work includes development of new overtaking opportunities in key locations, as well as further pavement strengthening. The forest and timber industry is grateful that the freight action committee is listening and delivering these targeted investments which are supporting local business and increasing productivity.”

Current road structural treatments have surpassed 2016 recommendations, with an additional $13 million invested in Green Triangle freight corridors.

Spray sealing on the Henty Highway, south of Hamilton, is included in the major road improvement works across the Green Triangle.

Work has included:

  • Henty Highway south of Hamilton, spray sealing including prep patching;
  • Cashmore Road intersection, Portland Ring Road, asphalt pavement strengthening and surfacing;
  • Portland-Casterton Road, north of Henty, pavement rehabilitation, stabilisation and strengthening;
  • Princes Highway West, west of Garvoc, pavement renewal, reconstruction and strengthening;
  • Princes Highway West, east of Terang, pavement renewal, reconstruction and strengthening.

Green Triangle Freight Action committee chair Karen Stephens said the region’s record $180 million funding from both the State and Commonwealth Governments’ in recent years had been catalysts for allowing key infrastructure projects to proceed.

The Glenelg Shire councillor said proposed wind farm developments had been given surety that they could safely move components on the key freight corridors due to the investment commitments.

“There is a huge new financial year planned at Regional Roads Victoria with further major investment proposed right across the Green Triangle region,” Cr Stephens said.

“In the short-term further work is being undertaken on the Portland Ring Road bridge on Cape Bridgewater Road to provide for long term over dimensional freight accessibility.

“Vegetation clearance is also a key priority to improve visibility, particularly on the Portland-Nelson Road whilst planning and designing is proposed for overtaking opportunities at four key locations on the Princes Highway near Yambuk, Tyrendarra and Terang.

“Meanwhile improvements have been earmarked for key bridges to allow high productivity vehicle movements in addition to further pavement strengthening into the new financial year and beyond.

“We are extremely grateful to the hardworking team at Regional Roads Victoria for delivering this well-planned investment, working closely with industry to ensure all can work harmoniously throughout construction.”