Transport and freight
The Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Transport Group advocates on behalf of local councils - Buloke, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Northern Grampians Shire Council, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack. The group developed the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Transport Strategy (2015) incorporating road and rail infrastructure, aerodrome developments, freight and logistics planning, and interface projects.
The Wimmera Southern Mallee is at the centre of a network of highways linking capital cities and major regional centres.
Highway connections through the region include:
- Western Highway from Melbourne to Adelaide
- Henty Highway from Portland to Mildura, including the Sunraysia Highway
- Wimmera Highway from Bendigo to Naracoorte
The Wimmera Intermodal Freight Hub (WIFT) was established in 2012 and has increased the region's use of rail as an efficient mechanism to transport grain. The WIFT provides a central location for grain storage facilities and grain export processors, improves access to freight depots, grain silos and processing plants, and builds on the regions nationally significant and export focussed grains industry.
The hub is located in Dooen, 7km from Horsham’s town centre, and has transformed the efficient transportation of grain handling and storage in the Wimmera. It is a major transportation benefit for the region, generating time and cost savings for agriculture and other commodity based businesses in the Wimmera.
It is an essential step in meeting increased global demand for our agricultural and mining products. The Wimmera is one of the world’s largest grain, pulse and oilseed growing regions, and exports about 60 per cent of total harvest.
The 23.5ha site provides a central location for grain storage facilities and grain export processors; improves access to freight depots, grain silos and processing plants; and builds on the region’s nationally significant and export focused grains industry. It will:
- Process up to 18,600 containers within five to six years – more than twice the number of containers handled at the existing Horsham facility; and
- Reduce handling costs for the terminal operator and for grain producers.
Charter and private aircraft frequently use the small airports located at Horsham, Stawell and Warracknabeal.
Three-phase power is available in major towns across the Wimmera Southern Mallee, and natural gas is piped as far west as Horsham. Several large-scale manufacturing and food processing businesses are located further west than Horsham, and have ready and reliable access to LPG.
The Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline provides a high-quality and reliable water supply to 36 towns across the Wimmera and approximately 7000 rural customers. The East Grampians Rural Pipeline is being rolled out to rural customers in parts of the Northern Grampians Shire during 2021. More information is available from GWMWater.
The Wimmera and Southern Mallee has a mix of National Broadband Network fixed-line broadband services, mobile services (mainly 4G) and Low Powered Wide Area Networks (LP-WAN) that can support Internet of Things (IoT) applications like remote sensors.
The Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership is working to improve the Wimmera's digital landscape by actions such as supporting applications to government programs to address mobile blackspots. An Enhanced Broadband project will trial a high-capacity fixed wireless network in Horsham.
More information on priority recommendations for future investment is available through the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership Digital Plan.