The Australian and New South Wales Governments’ accelerated $398 million investment in road safety improvements through the Safer Roads Program is making a big difference in regional communities, with $6.5 million being invested to enhance the Newell Highway between Forbes and Boggabilla.
Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said he is working closely with his state and local government counterparts to ensure vital infrastructure funding continued to flow where it’s needed most.
“This is a great example of multiple levels of government combining forces to deliver community-shaping local infrastructure projects for our region,” Mr Coulton said.
“I am so pleased that this significant investment will see further improvements to the Newell, which is a key freight corridor in the Parkes electorate.
“This translates to jobs to keep money flowing through our communities, and importantly, enhanced safety for road users now and into the future.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government committed $140 million towards the 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.”
The NSW Government is spending $822 million over five years through the Safer Roads program, with $258 million allocated in 2020 to accelerate program delivery.