West Wimmera calls for roads money

West Wimmera Mayor Ron Hawkins believes the shire's roads will suffer after GrainCorp changes. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

West Wimmera Mayor Ron Hawkins believes the shire's roads will suffer after GrainCorp changes. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

WEST Wimmera Shire Council has called for more money for roads after changes to the shire's GrainCorp sites.

GrainCorp announced earlier this month it would close receival sites in the shire at Kaniva, Serviceton and Goroke.

Council will write to Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder and request a meeting.

Mayor Ron Hawkins said farmers would now need to travel further to deliver grain, meaning the shire's roads would suffer.

"Our core business is roads," he said.

"Farmers will now have a 60-kilometre trip, on average, from farm to storage."

Cr Hawkins said council would need more money from the State Government to maintain C-class roads.

"C-class roads are an integral part of our road system and they are already getting insufficient funding from the government as it is," he said.

"GrainCorp's theory is based on getting grain to rail, but we only have the main line here which GrainCorp doesn't use.

"Our interest is different from other regional areas."

Cr Bruce Meyer said money for C-class roads was greatly neglected.

"Funding for one kilometre of the East-West Link would fix up every C-class road in the shire," he said.

"About 97 per cent of the state budget went to Melbourne.

"There is a great inequity happening.

"Roads need to be of a better standard than what they are currently at."

Cr Richard Wait said the changes to GrainCorp meant more farmers would keep grain in on-farm storage.

"They will be moving more grain in the cooler months, meaning more pressure on the roads," he said.

Cr Annette Jones said council needed to act quickly.

"With grain moving all year round, this creates much more damage to our roads - it will impact us significantly," she said.

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