The rural transport sector has called for the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River to use this week’s Federal cash windfall to fix infrastructure problems hampering business. WA local governments will get a share of about $73.5 million worth of roads and infrastructure funding from a $500 million package announced last week by the Federal Government in response to COVID-19. The Shire was allocated $685,838 as part of the funding deal, while the City of Busselton reaped $961,870. Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown said suitable projects for the money would be determined during the upcoming budget pro-cess. David Fyfe, the president of the Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA, has called on local governments to address critical shortcomings in road infrastructure neglected for too long. Mr Fyfe pointed to a 4km break in the road network on Treeton Road in Cowaramup which prevented 27.5m vehicles travelling between the Semini Feedlot and Western Meat Packers processing facility. “Because of this gap in the network, heavy vehicles must travel an additional 60km,” he said. “We now have a chance to overcome some of these types of obstacles. “The timing is right to make sure local communities benefit from projects that will not only provide immediate local economic stimulus, but will deliver an ongoing return to ratepayers through more efficient freight.” The Federal news also highlighted heavy vehicle rest areas as projects worth consideration, he said. “It would be nice to think that some of this money will find its way to improving facilities in regional locations that do not get the attention they should,” he said. The Federal cash injection comes as the Shire seeks about $3m in extra funding from the State and Federal Governments to fast-track the third and final stage of Margaret River’s main street redevelopment. The new money is separate to $155 million worth of annual Financial Assistance Grants which will also be given to local governments in advance.