The freight handling capability of the Donald Intermodal Terminal will be boosted thanks to a funding upgrade from the Victorian State Government.
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said $463,100 would be invested to replace the existing container-handling gantry and the area it operates on resurfaced.
“The government is committed to continuing to improve and upgrade freight handling capacity sites across Victoria,” Ms Kosky said.
“In Donald, this particular upgrade will assist efficiency and allow Pea Growers Co-Op – which operates the yard – to expand into other grains such as wheat and pulses.”
Ms Kosky said the $73 million upgrade to the Mildura rail line would increase the efficient movement of agricultural exports from Donald and the surrounding Wimmera-Mallee Region.
“The change in grain marketing brought about by the abolition of a single desk for international wheat sales has provided an opportunity for more freight to pass through the Donald Intermodal Terminal,” she said.
“Combine this with an increasing preference for many of our export customers to receive containerised rather than bulk grain, and the future for the terminal looks bright.
“However, the existing 25-year-old gantry is unable to cope with the expected increase in container rail freight forecast to occur in the area.
“The new gantry will capitalise on improvements to the regional rail network, changes in grain marketing and the Victorian Government’s Rail Freight Support Package.”
Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan said Pea Growers Co-Op had worked closely with the Shire of Buloke, Regional Development Victoria and Department of Transport in developing the $463,100 initiative.
“The project is being funded in part from the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund, which has committed more than $470 million to infrastructure improvements in regional and rural Victoria,” Ms Allan said.
“Research has indicated businesses would move freight through the Donald Intermodal Terminal if the gantry was upgraded.
“Improvements to this terminal site will bring the facilities up to a safe and modern standard.”
Funding for the upgrade has come from Regional Development Victoria, Department of Transport as well as a $36,100 investment from industry.
VicTrack will manage the replacement of the gantry.