Barnaby Joyce

Fast-tracking road projects in New England to boost jobs and safety

29 Jun 2020

The Australian and NSW Governments will join forces to turbocharge a program which will improve local roads in New England and create regional jobs.

Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Australian Government has committed $191 million to build on the NSW Government’s $500 million Fixing Local Roads program, to ensure even more regional communities benefit, faster.

“This is about getting shovels in the ground on local construction projects to maintain jobs and economic growth in New England.  Every single job that we support makes a huge difference and will ensure we have the safe transport connections needed to keep moving now, and as we navigate out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” Mr Joyce said.

Examples of projects to be targeted in New England include:

•    $5 million for the sealing of Horton Road, from the village of Upper Horton to the intersection of Killarney Gap Road (16km) – Gwydir Shire Council area;

•    $3.6 million for the sealing of Retreat Road (7km) and the replacement of Retreat Bridge to open the road to B-Double semi-trailers and help drought-stricken farmers – Tamworth Regional Council area;

•    $3.99 million for the upgrade of Tooloom Road from Paddy’s Flat North to Urbenville (12km) and a new concrete bridge over Beaury Creek – Tenterfield Shire Council area. 

(The complete list of New England projects is attached)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Australian Government’s funding injection was about generating jobs, encouraging spending and stimulating local economies.

“The injection will see $382 million of joint funding allocated to shovel-ready projects able to start in the next 12 months, driving an estimated 3,500 jobs in regional NSW,” Mr McCormack said.
                                                                                                                        
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said the NSW Government was also accelerating its funding for the program to get more projects to seal, maintain and repair local roads under way faster.

“We’re not just putting our foot down in terms of delivering this package – we’re turbocharging it to ensure we create jobs and create better journeys on the roads that really matter to local communities,” Mr Toole said. 

Mr Joyce said round one would see $250 million invested in 258 projects across 83 Local Government Areas (LGAs).  Applications for round two of the program will open later this year.

“In the LGAs of Glen Innes, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Upper Hunter, Uralla, and Walcha, it means smoother, safer trips along the roads our community use every day,” Mr Joyce said. 

Projects will need to be delivered within two years of receiving funding, to ensure that local communities are benefiting sooner. 

The initiative is part of the Federal Government’s $1.5 billion infrastructure stimulus package.  

(ENDS)