Major upgrade for Old Sale Road
A section of Old Sale Rd will undergo a major upgrade as a result of a $945,000 state government funding allocation.
Baw Baw Shire received the funding as part of the state government’s Local Roads to Market Program. Council also will contribute $472,000 to the project.
The works, including pavement widening and strengthening, drainage improvements, kerb and channel and guard rail will be undertaken on Old Sale Rd between Webbs Rd and Araluen Rd.
As a member of the Gippsland Local Government Network, a sub-committee was formed to develop a Gippsland wide regional strategic route network.
Officers said all strategic route candidates were then classified as either regionally or locally significant.
The GLGN funding package included a consolidated list of priority projects for each council, totalling $58 million.
The priority projects identified for Baw Baw Shire included: Yarragon Leongatha Rd/Rollo St - $3 million (timber haulage route); Old Sale Rd - $3.6 million; O’Briens Rd - $900,000; Main South Rd - $1.5 million; and Jacksons Trk/Jindivick Neerim South Rd - $2.5 million.
Roads that are classed as a primary timber haulage routes were not eligible under the Local Roads to Market Program.
The original project scope for Old Sale Rd was separated into three sections including: Honneckers Rd to Yarragon Shady Creek Rd; Webbs Rd to Araluen Rd; and, Willow Grove Rd to 500m west of Willow Grove Rd to O’Briens Rd.
“Whilst it is disappointing that council was not successful in gaining full funding of this project, Baw Baw Shire did receive a significant portion (seven per cent%) of the overall $13.4 million of funds available to all Victorian councils in the second round of funding,” the report said.
Cr Darren Wallace said council initially sought $2.4 million but did not receive the full amount.
He said Old Sale Rd was one of the five list priorities as part of the strategic route network identified by GLGN.
Cr Wallace said the total project cost for Old Sale Rd was estimated to be $3.6 million and had been broken down into three parts.
“We were successful for funding in one section only. We have funding for the highest ranked section.
“Whilst we didn’t get everything, we were lucky enough to secure seven per cent of the funding available to all Victorian councils.
“This funding will improve a section of road that is narrow…there have been three reports of crashes, not including a fatality and has had many near misses between cars and trucks,” he said.
Cr Michael Leaney said Old Sale Rd was a major traffic route for trucks accessing farms in that area.
He said there were four dairies and 10 beef and sheep farms in that section of Old Sale Rd.
“There is very strong support from the local community but also the industry.
“It is disappointing we couldn’t get full funding to do the full works but at least we can do the section that is most needed,” he said.
Cr Keith Cook said it was a nasty section of road.
He said A-double and B-double trucks used the road “so we can understand the concerns.”
Officers said the revised scope included works only on the narrower sections of the road way located predominantly on the curves.
Whilst the scope of works was revised to meet the funding allocation, officers said the works would still provide the desire benefits including: Improved lane widths; Improved road safety through reduced likelihood of conflict;
Reduced overall maintenance costs through improved road side drainage and the provision of kerb and channel at toe of embankments;
Improvements to existing road alignments will reduce freight maintenance costs; and,
Road widening and tree trimming and/or removal will improve sight distance along the road.
Wine has never really been synonymous with Longwarry, other than people buying a few bottles at the bottle shops.
But that has all changed now the town has its own winery.
Richard and Marion Johnson bought the property that has the bandicoot run nature reserve on its northern boundary 28 years ago, planted their first vines – 1200 of them - 12 years ago, started making wines as a hobby early this decade and are now going commercial after planting another 6500 vines last year.
Hence the name of the winery – “Bandicoot Run”.
Son Alistair is heading the show as the winemaker with shiraz now in the production line and pinot noir and chardonnay to add to varieties in the future.
The family were interested observers at the Gippsland wine awards at Lardner Park last Thursday and no doubt will be eyeing off being right among the action in future years.
A family affair. Winemaker Alistair Johnson with parents Richard and Marion have broken new ground at Longwarry by establishing the town’s first commercial winery.