SOUTH Australia's worst roads will be voted on by the state's grains industry to provide a funding priority list for local, state and federal governments.
The Worst Grain Roads campaign will be launched by Grain Producers SA tomorrow, with the advocacy and policy organisation calling on all those involved in the grain supply chain to name a road they believe needs to be at the top of the priority list for improvement.
While the campaign is not actively seeking more monetary input for road repair, GPSA chief executive officer Brad Perry said it would allow the lobby group to go to decision makers with a clear indication of what roads and freight routes the grain industry believed needed urgent attention.
He said the grain industry relied heavily on roads to move grain, people, services and goods, especially with the move away from rail in many regions.
"The SA grains industry is a significant economic contributor, generating more than $3 billion in gross industry revenue and employing 23,000 people directly," Mr Perry said.
RELATED READING: Regional roads feared to miss out in latest state budget
"This campaign will help us identify the state's worst grain roads so we can highlight the routes in most need of repair, ensuring future funding is prioritised to the places that need it most to maintain safe and efficient transport for the grain sector.
"With the cessation of rail freight in many parts of SA's grain regions, there is much more pressure on our regional road networks and it's important that GPSA has a definitive priority list of where the industry would like to see investment."
Growers and all industry stakeholders are being encouraged to nominate their worst grain road at www.worstgrainroadssa.com.au, with an accompanying photo of the road's condition if safe to do so.
Following this nomination process, GPSA will release a road upgrade and repair priority list which it will take to the applicable levels of government.
Meetings across SA to discuss road and infrastructure issues with grain producers and industry stakeholders will also form part of the campaign.
RELATED READING: Northern roads among SA budget spend
Mallala graingrower Ian Jenkin, who primarily runs trucks during harvest time, said while they were reasonably lucky in his area, a bad road that immediately sprung to mind was that from Hamley Bridge to Templers which is a feeder road into the Roseworthy silos at harvest.
"There's no avoiding that one," he said. "There's holes in that which are horrendous."
Mr Jenkin said there was significant costs involved in keeping trucks in top condition and bad roads only exacerbated the yearly wear and tear.
"We're all using road-friendly suspension now, but the roads aren't friendly anymore."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.