More than $100 million allocated for Northern Tablelands’ road network upgrades
THE State Government will invest a record $102.84 million to upgrade roads across the Northern Tablelands this financial year.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said the 2020-21 NSW Budget announced Tuesday targeted improvements to key freight routes as a way to speed up the recovery of agricultural-based economies in the region.
He said the funding was a whopping $16.87 million increase in roads funding from last year’s Budget.
“With the biggest harvest underway in more than five years and prime livestock back in paddocks, we need to ensure our road network is safe and able to get that product to market quickly and efficiently,” Mr Marshall said.
“I’m pleased the upgrade between Mungle Back Creek and Boggabilla has received an additional $47.1 million from this budget, allowing for new road pavement with 3.5 metre wide lanes in each direction, wider road shoulders and two new overtaking lanes.
“$22.4 million will be spent on general Newell Highway maintenance, including planning for heavy duty pavement at North Moree and the significant flood-proofing.
“Already we can see how beneficial projects like the Newell Highway upgrade are in boosting economies in the west, with 582 jobs already provided since it started, with a focus on Aboriginal participation.
“The Newell Highway will play an important role in connecting primary producers with the nation building Inland Rail and the Moree Special Activation Precinct.
“As planning and construction of both these projects ramps up in 2021 we must ensure the Newell is in a condition which facilitates the smooth flow of heavy vehicle freight and maximises the full benefit these projects will bring.”
Mr Marshall said the Budget has also included funding for two significant tourist routes.
“With work underway on flood-proofing the Washpool section of the Gwydir Highway, east of Moree, the full $7.1 million has been made available to Moree Plains Shire Council, fulfilling this key election commitment,” he said.
“On the eastern edge of the electorate, those who regularly travel from Armidale to the coast on the Waterfall Way will be pleased $12 million will be spent on safety and pavement improvements on that stretch of road.
“Alongside the $16.5 million provided to local councils for road projects through Round 1 of the Fixing Local Roads program, a further $29,398,000 is being provided to shires for maintenance and repair works.
“These are all projects which will work to encourage tourists to travel west of the Great Dividing Range and stay and spend in local communities.”
Media Release: Tuesday, November 17, 2020