The Australian and New South Wales Governments’ accelerated $398 million investment in road safety improvements through the Safer Roads Program will deliver $12.1 million for the upgrade of Waterfall Way (Armidale to Dorrigo).
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the road improvement would provide significant benefit for the local community.
“Waterfall Way is a major east-west route connecting our Tableland city, Armidale, to the coast,” Mr Joyce said.
“The upgrade, which includes new audio-tactile centre lines, road widening, flexible barriers and intersection improvements, will not only deliver more jobs for our region during construction, the finished project will further increase the capacity of that road and grant easier access to the New England.
“It builds on $140 million in funding I have previously secured for upgrades on north-south routes along the New England Highway and helps connect the corridors of commerce through the heart of our Electorate.”
Additionally, a further $1.3 million will upgrade Gwydir Highway near Elsmore Rd; $1 million on the New England Highway near Glen Innes; $949,650 for the Gwydir Highway near Waterloo Rd; $800,000 on Fossickers Way near Sulcor Rd and $788,000 on Mt Lindesay Rd – Bookookarara section.
“I made Mount Lindesay Road a big priority to upgrade that road, they said we couldn’t do it and now we have a further three quarters of a million dollars to keep finishing the job,” Mr Joyce said.
“On the Gwydir Highway between Glen Innes and Inverell, $2 million in combined funding is making sure those two major centres in the northern part of our electorate have a better road, a safer road in further delivery for the people of New England.
“Fossickers Way, an incredibly important corridor to move the goods, to move the cattle, move the sheep and move people, and we have further funding for this stretch of road as well.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government committed $140 million towards the Safer Roads Program in June 2020 to stimulate the economy and create jobs, while getting Australians home sooner and safer.
“Our funding injection for the NSW Safer Roads Program is about getting boots on the ground and shovels in the dirt to ensure this critical program of works is delivered as quickly as possible, saving lives and livelihoods,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“59 additional Safety Road Program projects are being accelerated, which we expect will prevent around 590 serious injuries or fatalities.
“The Safer Roads Program will also create around 950 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the projects, putting reliable work on the books for local construction companies and ensuring more cash flows through local businesses and communities doing it tough.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said projects to be rolled out under this program were targeted at sustainable and long-term reductions in road trauma, to assist NSW to move closer to zero fatalities.
“Projects like these can mean the difference between someone getting home or not – and collectively make NSW roads safer for all of us,” Mr Toole said.
“We know this is particularly vital on our regional and rural roads, with high-level trauma on country roads accounting for two-thirds of all road deaths in the state.
“These works will save lives and bolster the resilience of the state’s rural and regional road networks, meaning smoother, safer trips to school, work or even the shops – which will make a real difference for those in the bush who depend on them for their day-to-day lives.”