Ma­jor up­grade for Old Sale Road

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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