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The Victorian government has announced the temporary extension of the state’s road-train network to include a southbound route between Charlton and Koondrook, aimed at facilitating grain and hay delivery to drought-affected areas.
Unladen road trains will now be able to make the southbound journey via Barham and Koondrook, in the state’s north, to Charlton instead of using the Calder Highway, making it a more efficient return trip for farmers and transport operators, a government statement says.
The faster and more direct southbound route is said to cut three hours or 220 kilometres off the trip – reducing fuel costs and giving truck drivers a quicker journey home.
The road-train network covers the north-west of Victoria and is seen as a vital part of the rural economy, making it easier for farmers to move livestock and feed between states, Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford says.
"We’ve listened to what farmers had to say and are acting swiftly to make it easier to deliver grain and hay to drought affected areas that need it most," Pulford says.
"This is a big win for farmers and communities affected by the drought – the more direct route will cut travel times, reduce costs and ensure truck drivers make it home safely."
The extension to the network is to last as long as the drought does.
"We’re making it easier for rural industry across Australia to get their livestock and fodder where they need to go – supporting our farmers and our economy," Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne adds.
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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