Greater Hume Shire has second shot at scoring cash for $7.2 million Henty railway relocation project

GREATER Hume Shire is set to re-load its bid to woo funding for the $7.2 million Henty railway relocation project after bombing out with the federal government.

The council is attempting to relocate the railway crossing from its present location on a small section of road between the Olympic Highway and Grubben Road further north.

The proposed replacement crossing will also require the Olympic Highway to be re-aligned slightly to the east for about 1.2km.

It will also significantly improve the efficiency of grain movements to a Graincorp receival facility.

But the project failed to secure $2.3 million in the federal Building Better Regions Program to kick-start the project and help leverage a further $4.4 million from other federal and state government funding programs.

In a report to be tabled at next week’s council meeting, Greater Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck said based on feedback from the federal government its application bombed due to funding from other sources not being committed.

“This raises the question that unless one level of government is prepared to ‘go first’ to approve funding for complex projects like this, they have little prospect of success,” he wrote.

Other projects – Howlong’s Cool Off expansion, Walla childcare centre and Burrumbuttock’s Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre – all scored funding in the BBRP round announced last month.

The council will now target the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program ($3 million) and a matching amount from state government.

It is also prepared to contribute $500,000.

The council could also be eligible for funding as part of upgrades needed on the line to accommodate inland rail.

"It is unfortunate Greater Hume Shire wasn't successful for this project,” a spokesman for Farrer MP Sussan Ley said.

"But the area certainly benefited from the recent BBRP allocation.

"If the council is putting in for funding in other areas our office is more than happy to assist them in bidding for Commonwealth assistance.”

This story first appeared on The Border Mail