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Grain road voted SA’s worst gets critical funding

Grain Central, March 19, 2024

Upper Yorke Road was voted SA’s Worst Grain Road. Photo: GPSA

THE Federal and State governments have today announced transformational funding for Grain Producers SA’s (GPSA) Worst Grain Road in a move that has been hailed as an advocacy win for grain producers and their communities.

In 2022, GPSA undertook a survey of SA grain producers which voted Upper Yorke Road from Arthurton to Kulpara as SA’s Worst Grain Road.

Two years of advocacy, including organising for the Minister for Regional Roads, Minister for Primary Industries, and a Department for Infrastructure and Transport executive to travel on the road in a grain truck, has resulted in the delivery of much needed road funding.

Today’s announcement of a $168 million investment in SA under the Federal Government’s Road Safety Program, includes upgrades to 35km of road between Kulpara and Arthurton.

It will fund lane widening, shoulder sealing, shape correction to create a smoother surface, pavement works, audio tactile line-marking delineation, and the removal of barriers and hazards.

GPSA chief executive officer Brad Perry said the aim of the Worst Grain Road campaign was to further highlight to governments that economic activity, as well as safety, are key factors to road funding allocations.

“Upper Yorke Road – Arthurton to Kulpara – will no longer be the worst grain road in South Australia, after news today that 35 kilometres will be upgraded by 2025,” Mr Perry said.

“This is a huge win for grain producers and the communities who use this important road.”

GPSA worked with the Royal Automobile Association of SA to survey the stretch of road, and found that 90 percent of it received a one-star safety rating.

“The funding announced today will bring the safety rating on this 35km stretch of road to at least three stars.

“Once this road upgrade has been completed next year, grain producers will no longer have to avoid Upper Yorke Road – Arthurton to Kulpara – as they will have a safe and cost-effective path to market.”

GPSA also welcomes significant funding for the Mallee Highway, another key freight route for grain producers that was ranked fourth in the Worst Grain Roads in SA.

Arthurton grain producer Chris Moloney said the funding announcement for the Upper Yorke Road was a game changer.

“Quality upgrades to the Kulpara to Arthurton road are long overdue and a big win for the region,” Mr Moloney said.

“Farmers, locals and the increasing tourism traffic will now be able to get from A to B without detouring or compromising safety.

“Thanks must go to the GPSA team for unwaveringly advocating on our behalf.”

Source: GPSA

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