An upgrade of the full length of Tower Road and a 2.6-kilometre section of the Penola–Casterton Road, from the Tower Road junction to the South Australian/Victorian border is now complete.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the upgraded sections could now be reclassified as a Higher Mass Limit (HML) B-double route to allow continuous freight access from Penola into Victoria and back.
“Around Australia—especially in regional Australia—the Liberal and Nationals’ Government is focused on helping people get home sooner and safer,” said Mr. McCormack.
“The Penola-Casterton Road is a key freight link for timber harvesting in the Green Triangle Region in the south eastern region of Australia and this upgrade will improve road safety and freight access to support harvesting and chipping of blue gum plantations.”
South Australian Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said the project would also facilitate a more direct transport route for livestock, grain and fresh produce from the farm gate to storage and distribution facilities.
“In addition to its support for agriculture, a large increase in timber plantation activity has occurred over the past decade in this area to now make it the largest timber plantation area in Australia, constituting more than 17 per cent of the national forest plantation sector,” said Knoll.
Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, said the works started in January 2018 and involved upgrading the Penola–Casterton Road and Tower Road intersection, along with shoulder sealing of the 2.6-kilometre section of Casterton Road between Tower Road and the border.
“The tourism, grain, dairy, meat, wine and other industries stand to benefit from this investment, which delivers on a priority identified under the Green Triangle Freight Action Plan previously developed in close consultation with local councils and industry,” said Pasin.
The $1.33 million project is jointly funded under the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) and the South Australian Government on a 50:50 basis.