Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby advocates for access for remote community

06 Mar 2020

Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has gone into bat for bushfire-ravaged Wytaliba residents lobbying both the Federal and State Governments to pay for the initial temporary and permanent bridges over the Mann River, east of Glen Innes.

The Mann River bridge was burnt down in the devastating fire at Wytaliba on 8 November, 2019 leaving residents with no way to get across the river until Glen Innes Severn Council constructed a low level side track which, unfortunately, had been washed away six times since its installation.

This weekend - weather permitting - Council will put in place a temporary 12 metre bridge within the side track.

My Joyce said the bushfire has passed on and the cameras have gone but now the work continues to rebuild. 

“Under the Disaster Relief Funding Arrangements (DRFA), the Federal Government funds up to 75% of the State Government administered program that is now being utilised to rebuild Wytaliba Bridge.  

“Apart from the fire, the Old Grafton Road has also experienced significant flood and storm damage and this is to be repaved and drainage repaired.

“It is so important that the people of the Glen Innes area know that I will not lose sight of all the work that is now required to make our Electorate better than it was because many believe that the rain has already done that to completion on all public infrastructure.

Both the temporary and permanent bridges are budgeted to cost $3.3M.  Repairs to Old Grafton Road are estimated to cost a further $1M.

Council said it has applied for financial assistance under the NSW Government’s Essential Public Asset Reconstruction Works program.

(ENDS)