"Mango roads" to receive $20 million upgrade
MANGO growers producing almost a quarter of the national crop will benefit from the Liberal and Nationals Government’s investment in roads projects in the Northern Territory.
$20 million will be spent upgrading a 15-kilometre network of “mango roads” to help protect fruit quality for consumers and improve profits for growers.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Liberal and Nationals are investing $492.3 million to upgrade priority freight routes in the Northern Territory under our Roads of Strategic Importance initiative (ROSI), maximising benefits for industry and communities in the region.
“We have consulted with industry, councils and local communities to identify which key corridors would be upgraded to increase the reliability of key routes, improve links between regional communities and essential services and reduce freight travel times and cost,” Mr McCormack said.
“By targeting our investment on priority road corridors used by agricultural, mining and other industries, we will ensure upgrades delivered through the ROSI initiative will provide more reliable infrastructure to improve connections across the supply chain and to ports, airports and transport hubs.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said this $20 million investment would help grow the mango industry in the area, provide more local employment, and service domestic and export markets. It is a great example of the types of projects that we are looking to deliver across the north through the ROSI initiative.
“The mango industry here in the NT has grown to $90 million and the Liberal and Nationals Government wants to see it grow even further. That’s why we’re supporting sealing of important roads in the Litchfield area,” Minister Canavan said.
“Covering over the bumps and corrugations will reduce the risk of fruit bruising, and cutting out the dust drift will improve pollination and mite control, plus better roads mean better driver safety. It’s a win-win-win.”
Minister Canavan said Litchfield is a major mango producer, with product being sent to markets in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, and some also going to new and growing markets in South East Asia and the Middle East.
“We want to see growers get the best possible rewards from their hard work and strategic sealing of roads in the production area will help boost profits,” Minister Canavan said.
The CLP candidate for Lingiari Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said that the investment would help grow an iconic Territory industry and boost jobs.
“If we can help improve productivity by reducing the time it takes for our mangos to get to markets, it will help reduce costs that will then allow for greater expansion,” Ms Price said.
“It demonstrates that because we have got the budget under control, we are able to make great investments like this that support local businesses and create jobs.”
The project will seal four sections of road in the Litchfield municipality:
1. Chibnall Road between Old Bynoe and Leonino Road (5.4km);
2. Mocatto Road between Whitstone and Acacia Gap Road (3.2km);
3. Horsnell Road between Elizabeth Valley Road and Alverly (3.4km); and
4. Kentish Road between Hopewell Road and the end of the current sealed section (3.2km).
The Litchfield Council has led the way, producing a business case demonstrating a good return on investment from sealing these roads.
The investment in “mango roads” will be a priority project under the $162.3 million Alice Springs to Darwin ROSI corridor.
This is all part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government commitment to priority road upgrades across the Northern Territory over the next 10 years totalling $1.6 billion.