One of the most consistent wheat growing areas in Australia, the Hilltops Region will soon have more competitive access to lucrative export markets that will deliver significant benefits to the industry and local farmers.
Construction is expected to start in February 2017 on the Cunningar Grain Receival Site upgrade at a total cost of $8.1 million.
Expected to take eight months before commissioning, the upgrade is a corporate, government and community project.
It is funded as part of the National Stronger Regions Project with significant corporate and community backing as well.
The funding breakdown is as follows:
$3.6m - Graincorp;
$2.0m community and local grain growers; and
$2.5m from the National Stronger Regions Fund.
The upgrade will provide a benefit to not only grain farmers in the area, but the local economy as well.
It is expected to provide more than 20 construction jobs, increase commercial activity in the area, and create 10 seasonal harvest jobs.
Upon completion of the Cunningar Grain Receival Site upgrade, there is expected to be a decrease in rail noise affecting businesses and residents.
It is also expected there will be a decrease in road blockages due to rail.
The upgrade will result in 4,000 less return truck journeys from site to port.
It will also see an 80% improvement in train loading times from 23.8 hours to 4.1 hours.
This will reduce the time from site to port and back by half seeing a saving of $10 per tonne freight to the growers.
The project includes significant rail upgrades and construction which will allow an increase in axle weights to 25 tonnes from 19 tonnes.
These upgrades, funded as part of the National Stronger Regions Project and community backing, will also see the reinstatement and extension of existing sidings and construction of new sidings.
The National Stronger Regions programme was established in 2015 to provide more than $1 billion over five years to fund priority infrastructure in regional and disadvantaged communities.
The GrainCorp funded section of the upgrade includes construction of garner bin and spout to load trains at 1000 tonnes per hour.
It will also feature the construction of an inter connecting conveyor from existing storage to new load point and upgrades to site traffic infrastructure.
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