Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is pleased to announce that $11.6 million is being jointly invested by the Federal and NSW Governments for road safety upgrades along the Newell Highway between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran.
More than $11.6 million in funding is en route for road safety upgrades along the Newell Highway between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran, 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 deliver life-saving road upgrades.
“I am so pleased that this significant investment will see further improvements to the Newell, which is a key freight corridor,” Mr Coulton said.
“More than $8.9 million is being invested to widen the shoulder and install rumble strips, safety barriers and wide centrelines along a 5.1-kilometre section of the Newell Highway at Redbank, south of Coonabarabran.
“A further $2.7 million will be used to improve a 1km stretch of the highway at Dustys Creek, north of Gilgandra, between the recently-completed overtaking lanes.
“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.”
NSW Nationals Upper House MP Sam Farraway said that this funding shows the dedication of the Nationals in Government to improving regional road safety.
“We remain committed to reducing our state’s road toll. Last year 297 lives were lost on roads in the state of New South Wales, I think we can all agree that is 297 too many,” Mr Farraway said.
“There’s nothing more important than someone getting home safely to their family at the end of the day and these works will do just that by improving the highways we use every day, widening shoulders and installing new centreline markings that will alert drivers when they move too close to the wrong side of the road.”
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.