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Drivers have been urged to take care on regional and remote roads this Easter as industry bodies continue to push government for urgent repairs and longer term attention to the road network.

With additional pressure on the roads over the holiday period, GrainGrowers has issued a timely reminder for drivers to be alert when travelling on damaged road surfaces.

GrainGrowers has continued its call for sustainable and targeted road funding, using its submission to a federal government inquiry to argue for urgent funding in the upcoming budget.

The submission to the Inquiry into the implications of severe weather events on the national, regional, rural and remote road network details the impact of widespread road damage on the grains supply chains.

GrainGrowers General Manager Policy and Advocacy, Zachary Whale said repeated flood events and persistent and unprecedented rainfall has deteriorated critical road infrastructure across Australia’s grain-growing regions and exacerbated systemic long-term underfunding of the regional road network.

“This situation left many farmers struggling to transport grain to market and poses significant safety risk for rural communities who rely on these roads to access vital services.”

As part of the Rural Road Alliance, GrainGrowers has called for an $800 million annual increase to the Roads to Recovery Program.

Under the program, local government authorities and funding recipients prioritise local projects, ensuring the funds are explicitly directed at maintaining local road infrastructure. Mr Whale said sufficient maintenance is critical to ensure roads are resilient during natural disasters and help to reduce reconstruction costs after climatic events.

The GrainGrowers submission has also called on the government to take a strategic and long-term view of road infrastructure investment.

Mr Whale said the increasing occurrence of climatic events such as floods and bushfires placed additional pressure on road design.

“Rather than just patching potholes, we need current investments to build resilience to emerging issues associated with natural disasters and climate risk.”

The submission highlights the federal Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) program as a critical tool in building this resilience, with GrainGrowers, through the Rural Road Alliance, calling for an additional $900 million in annual funding to be directed to freight networks.

“When addressing capacity, ROSI is critical as it focuses on elements such as road sealing, flood immunity, strengthening and widening, pavement rehabilitation, bridge and culvert upgrades and road realignments.”

“Additional funding through this program is needed to improve the long-term resilience of our vital freight networks,” Mr Whale said.

A copy of the submission is available HERE.


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Chris Rowley