Member for Moore Shane Love MLA has welcomed $15 million Royalties for Regions funding for the upgrade of Agricultural Lime Route 2 from Lancelin.
The funds will allow for the upgrade of roads to support the safe and efficient travel of lime-sand trucks from pits in Lancelin via KW Road, Sappers Road and Orange Springs Road to the Brand Highway and improve priority sections of roads to Goomalling.
“I have lobbied hard for this funding having seen the financial strain on local governments such as Gingin and nearby shires with about 1 million tonnes of agricultural lime coming out of Lancelin annually,” Mr Love said.
“Lime is essential for addressing soil acidity and maintaining productivity in the agricultural region but we want to ensure that it can be transported safely.”
Mr Love said since his election he had worked hard to tackle the agricultural lime issue from a number of angles, successfully requesting the Wheatbelt Development Commission to bring together a working group to examine the many issues.
That group is well advanced in developing the Wheatbelt Lime Strategy which has examined the supply and transport of lime sand.
Mr Love said soil acidity could cost the Western Australian agricultural sector in excess of $1.6 billion per annum, but these losses can be dramatically lessened by the application of highly alkaline lime-sand to neutralise the acidity.
“Farmers need to be sure that they can source lime into the future, the road infrastructure needs to be able to support the tonnages of lime required, the general public using these roads need to be safe and the amenity of our coastal environment needs protecting to allow for multiple uses such as recreation and tourism” Mr Love added.
“In my view the ultimate aim must be to get the huge numbers of road trains off Indian Ocean Drive south of KW Road and also off Gingin Brook Road for safety reasons.
“Having these large trucks in such numbers on these busy commuter and tourism routes is untenable; the residents feel unsafe and the many tourists are unused to dealing with road trains on what are fairly narrow roads.”
Mr Love said the $15 million funding for Lime route 2 is in addition to the $48 million Ag Roads Fund which will allow Local Governments to source funds to improve key sections of the road network.