Whittlesea Shire’s agriculture sector will soon be transporting produce to market quicker and more safely through the Andrews Labor Government’s Local Roads to Market program.

Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green today announced a $300,000 investment from the Labor Government with the second round of grants through the program.

The grant, along with co-investment from Costa Mushroom Exchange will assist the City of Whittlesea with the public works to widen and seal a section of Cookes Road as well as improving left and right turn movements at the intersection of Bridge Inn Road and Cookes Road.

The infrastructure upgrades will provide a safer road surface to accommodate heavy vehicle loads ranging from 12 to 68 tonnes and allow for better manoeuvrability at the intersection.

Costa Mushroom Exchange, which is Australia’s largest grower of pre-packed mushrooms, is a regular user of the intersection and will be one of the major agricultural businesses to benefit from this productivity boost.

The $25 million Local Roads to Market program is a key pillar of the Government’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) and supports rural, regional and outer-suburban councils to improve connections from the farm gate to arterial roads, receival points and markets.

The Cookes Road upgrade is one of 39 projects totalling $13.44 million the government is investing in this year to improve rural roads. Round 1 funded 29 projects worth $22.2 million across regional and rural Victoria in 2017.

The City of Whittlesea Council partnered with Costa to apply for the grant, with council contributing $300,000 to the project and Costa contributing $200,000.

Quotes attributable to Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green

“The Whittlesea community knows Agriculture is one of this state’s most important industries and in order to get produce moving more efficiently, we need the right infrastructure to get it done.”

 “Our residents and primary producers need roads that can help them coexist.”

“This upgrade will improve the intersection and road surface and protect over 600 local jobs into the future.” 

Quotes attributable to City of Whittlesea Mayor Cr Kris Pavlidis

“This grant demonstrates the value of working in partnership between different levels of government and the business community. The City of Whittlesea is committed to doing what we can to support our local business community and to help them grow and thrive so this grant will help protect the jobs of local residents, many of whom are from culturally diverse communities. We are working to ensure the City of Whittlesea is the right place for business and this Local Roads to Market grant is another step in the right direction.”

Quotes attributable to Costa General Manager Trevor Jordon

“We want to thank Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green and City of Whittlesea for all the support they have shown for this project and our business in general.”

“Danielle Green understands the importance of our business to the area and she has been a great champion for investment and jobs.”