THE Department of Transport says it has invested $5.2 million in C-class road upgrades in the Wimmera and Grampians in the financial year just completed.
It follows six councils in the area, including Northern Grampians, Horsham and Hindmarsh, banding together on Monday to call for the state government to include a further $50 million in upgrades in the budget later this year.
On Wednesday, a spokesman said the roads that have been improved include Nhill-Jeparit Road, Dimboola-Rainbow Road and Warracknabeal-Rainbow Road.
"Regional Roads Victoria works closely with the freight and farming industries to identify key locations that may require further improvements," he said.
"For example, in response to feedback from industry, RRV delivered improvements on Dimboola-Rainbow Road, Jeparit-Warracknabeal Road, Nhill-Jeparit Road, Hopetoun-Rainbow Road and Birchip-Rainbow Road to improve access to the gypsum pits at Yaapeet ahead of the 2020 sowing season.
"As part of the Victorian Government's 2019/20 regional road maintenance blitz, the following C-class roads have undergone a range of upgrades and repairs, including major patching and resealing works, along with shoulder and edge repairs:
- Nhill-Yanac Road
- Natimuk-Frances Road
- Nhill-Harrow Road
- Horsham-Noradjuha Road
- Natimuk-Hamilton Road
- Horsham-Drung South Road
- Coleraine-Edenhope Road
- Nhill-Jeparit Road
- Dimboola-Rainbow Road
- Warracknabeal-Rainbow Road
- Jeparit-Warracknabeal Road
- Hopetoun-Rainbow Road
John Beer, Livestock and Regional Transport Association president, said he supported the six councils' move, though road maintenance was an issue across Victoria.
"All these C-Class roads are B-Double rated, and now a lot of freight uses them, but how do you make it important to others... when there is more volume of traffic on highways that go to Adelaide and Mount Gambier?" he said.
"There are hundreds of trucks going into the port of Portland and they are only just starting to fix up the Mount Gambier to Heywood Road. I hope we find a way to get the government to spend more money if it's there."