MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has this week been in discussions with neighbouring MP, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, about an enterprising plan to undertake a major upgrade of the Gwydir Highway, from Glen Innes to Grafton, to create a safer and more efficient freight and tourism link from the coast to the Northern Tablelands.
Mr Marshall said the joint proposal had a great deal of merit and was the first step towards the creation of transport hubs at either end of the highway route.
“It will certainly go a long way toward enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the transport industry in the region,” Mr Marshall said.
“Chris has had some preliminary discussions with Roads Minister Duncan Gay and we would now like to further this and work on the nuts and bolts of this exciting collaborative project by involving both Glen Innes Severn and Clarence Valley Councils.
“Upgrading this important highway will go a long way to increasing productivity in the region and it’s vital we get on the front foot with this proposal and make a good case for funding when it becomes available.
“The Pacific Highway north and south of Grafton is about to undergo a major revamp so I believe the Northern Tablelands can capitalise on that region’s push to develop a transport hub in the Clarence Valley and incorporate an upgrade to the east west link to Glen Innes.”
Mr Marshall said there would be capital available for regional projects from Rebuilding NSW, a program that will be funded from the 49 percent lease of the State’s poles and wires.
“Regional NSW will be allocated $6 billion from the lease and $4.1 billion has been earmarked for regional transport projects and this particular road upgrade ticks all those boxes,” he said.
“Chris and I intend holding further discussions and will issue an invitation to both councils to meet with us together in the next month or two.”