School children will be able to safely cross the busy Bloomfield Road in Gunnedah thanks to a $297,000 investment from the Australian and NSW Governments, as part of a $400 million blitz designed to reduce road trauma and save lives.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian and NSW Governments were working tirelessly to ensure works start immediately and are completed by June to get people home sooner and safer.
“As someone who proudly lives, works and has raised a family in regional NSW, I know just how important safe, efficient road connections are to local communities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“That’s why we are rolling out this funding to deliver lifesaving upgrades including shoulder sealing, rumble strips to alert drivers when they are moving out of their lane, median upgrades to prevent head-on collisions and barriers to prevent run-off-road crashes and protect against roadside hazards.
“This investment won’t just save lives, it will also provide a shot in the arm to local economies as we come back from the COVID-19 recession, with these projects expected to support more than 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said safety barriers, rumble strips and wide centrelines were among the measures being rolled out under the program designed to save lives.
“As part of this investment, 261 priority projects will be delivered across NSW – 150 of these on regional roads, building on our vision of a safer, stronger regional NSW,” Mr Toole said.
“These projects will help prevent the loss of more than 538 lives and serious injuries on our roads over the project life – that’s the difference between 538 people making it home safely to their families at the end of the day.”
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this is a great example of the Australian and NSW Governments working together to improve pedestrian safety.
“I am so pleased that this $300,000 investment will see the installation of a pedestrian refuge along 1.3 kilometres of Bloomfield Street, where a number of local schools are located,” Mr Coulton said.
“This will not only provide school children with a safer way to cross the busy intersection, but I’m sure will put the minds of many parents at ease.
“Boosting local infrastructure also means boosting jobs and, here in the Parkes electorate, that ensures our local economy can continue to recover from COVID-19.”
State Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said both Governments were doing everything possible to get local residents home sooner and safer.
“The safety of our community is my top priority,” Mr Anderson said.
“The Nationals in government understand the need to improve pedestrian safety in regional NSW and this funding will help deliver a safer environment for our kids in Gunnedah.”
The Australian Government’s funding for the Road Safety Program is subject to ‘use it or lose it’ provisions and will deliver life-saving treatments on regional roads and to protect vulnerable road users across NSW, while also supporting local jobs and providing a welcome boost to local economies.
The ‘use it or lose it’ provisions require States and Territories to use their notionally allocated funds within a timeframe, or the funds can be reallocated to projects in other jurisdictions.
In total, the Australian Government has committed up to $300 million and the NSW Government a further $108.2 million to fund the state-wide upgrades under tranche one.
For more information on the Australian Government’s road safety initiatives, visit www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au.