The Federal Government has announced an $80 million commitment for upgrades and improvements for the road network in the South West Victoria. The recent announcement was delivered in Warrnambool by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. Road improvements will increase safety and access for many regional and remote communities across the region and support the regionally significant dairy industry, as Minister McCormack explained "This funding will address pinch points and other impediments to freight movements in the region to improve travel times and reduce freight costs, providing a significant boost to the local economy."
The road improvements will be delivered to the Princes Highway West from Colac to the South Australian Border, the Henty Highway, the Portland-Nelson road and the Portland-Casterton Road.
The road network in the south west supports Australia's largest dairy production region which is responsible for 24% of the national milk production. The road network across the region as well as the entry and exit points to the region are critical to the competitiveness of the industry.
SED prepared the 'Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain Study and Investment Prospectus' for The Great South Coast Group and the five shire councils that cover the region. The study outlined the current freight task, expected growth in freight task over the next 25 years, the economic scale and contribution of the dairy industry and key findings and investment recommendations needed to support industry growth.