Balranald Shire Council will receive much needed funds to support the increased movement of stock, feed and water as part of the drought relief package from the NSW Government.

Member for Murray Austin Evans said Balranald Shire Council will use the NSW Government funding to improve Mildura-Ivanhoe Road.

“Eligible councils can apply for up to $300,000 to help with road maintenance and improvements to accommodate increased freight movements,” Mr Evans said.

“The Drought Relief Heavy Vehicle Access Program was announced on 21 October 2018 and offers an additional $15 million toward the cost of maintenance and minor improvement work on council roads and roadsides.

“These improvements will contribute to heavy vehicle access, in support of the drought relief task,” he said.

“The changes will support farmers impacted by the drought by improving heavy vehicle access on local roads, which has increased as a result of the drought conditions.

Mr Evans said in January 2019, 23 submissions from 20 different councils across NSW were approved for funding under round one of the program. This second round of evaluations will see an additional 18 submissions from 12 councils approved.

“The NSW Government has been working in partnership with Local Government NSW to evaluate submissions received by councils across the state.

Balranald Shire Council Mayor Alan Purtill said this Grant funding will be very well received.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in the assistance of Council receiving this grant funding.  This is exciting news.”

Mr Evans said all project submissions were assessed against the program criteria and are recommended for funding, bringing the total value of work committed to about $10 million.

Submissions will continue to be assessed on a regular basis until the $15 million allocation is exhausted. The next evaluation is planned for March 2019.

Recently completed projects which improve freight access for drought relief can be considered.

Further information about the program is available by visiting https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/heavy-vehicles/drought-relief-heavy-vehicle-access-program.html, by emailing roadfreight@rms.nsw.gov.au, or by calling the local Roads and Maritime regional office.