The Shire of Narembeen, along with the 41 other Wheatbelt local governments, is working towards an integrated Wheatbelt Secondary Collector Freight Route project. The aim of the project is to develop an interconnected road network for heavy haulage across Local Government Authorities so that freight can be transported across the region linking the “first or final” mile to and from Wheatbelt towns and farms. The goal is to concentrate heavy traffic on specific routes (local roads) which will feed onto Main Roads. These roads have been selected to fit into specific criteria so as not to duplicate existing heavy vehicle routes. The upgrading of the “secondary collector routes”, will encourage operators to move onto them ASAP and allow for a more concentrated focus on maintenance programs on this network, which will remain a Shire responsibility. It will still be individual local government responsibility to maintain or upgrade any connecting roads.
To achieve this, the Shires intend to upgrade the selected local roads to a minimum standard and have consistent RAV ratings along routes. This will enhance safety on our roads and alleviate the interaction between heavy traffic and local traffic.
Currently, Shires are analysing the roads identified in this project to ascertain exactly what work needs to be done to upgrade the routes. This will allow us to calculate a total amount for the required funding. We expect the cost to be substantial and will be seeking Federal funding.
We are working in collaboration with our Regional Road Groups (Wheatbelt North and Wheatbelt South), Regional Development Australia (Wheatbelt), Main Roads WA and the Western Australian Local Government Association to develop a business case to have this project added to the Infrastructure Australia priority list, which will enhance our ability to attract funding.