Moree Plains Shire Council General Manager Lester Rogers, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Council’s Unsealed Roads Ganger Wayne Andrews inspecting freshly laid bitumen on Carrigan Road, about halfway between Boomi and Mungindi.
Monday, 18 May 2020
HUNDREDS of millions of dollars’ worth of agricultural product travelling out of the Moree Plains Shire each year will soon be guaranteed a smooth and safe trip between Boomi and Mungindi, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today celebrating the halfway mark of the $14.5 million MR507 Carrigan Road sealing project.
Mr Marshall said in the two years since the first amount of State Government funding was announced for the project, more than 21 kilometres of the 56-kilometre gravel road had been widened and sealed by Moree Plains Shire Council.
“Carrigan Road is a vital freight route for our region and the sealing of this road has been decades in the making,” Mr Marshall said.
“When we embarked on this project, there was 56 kilometres of often treacherous gravel, which was impassable in the wet, to widen and seal.
“The State Government kicked off works, funding $3.5 million for the first 14 kilometre stretch in June 2018 and then another $10.5 million in January last year.
“Considering more than $30 million of agricultural produce, on average, is transported off properties along Carrigan Road each year, I have always argued $14 million is a small price to pay to ensure that product gets on its way to market safely and efficiently.
“Continual gravel re-sheeting and closures during the wet have caused headaches for many Moree Plains Shire producers for many years.
“Once complete, a sealed Carrigan Road will help improve connectivity between Mungindi and Boomi, reduce travel times, improve safety and significantly reduce freight costs.
“I am incredibly pleased the sealing of this vital piece of infrastructure now has only 21 kilometres to go, with the rest of the road expected to be complete mid next year.
“Local farmers and members of the Moree Plains Shire Council have been campaigning for this road to be sealed for around 25 years and I’m really looking forward to this time next year when we celebrate is completion.”
$1,065,000 has been provided by Moree Plains Shire Council for the project and another $155,000 from industry.
Moree Plains Shire Mayor Katrina Humphries is particularly proud as the works have been undertaken by Moree Plains Shire Council works crews, in trying times.
“In terms of productivity, there’s not many roads in our Shire that deliver more product than Carrigan Road – our asset management data shows us that,” Cr Humphries said.
“These works will vastly improve the efficiency of this road network.
“This project is a fantastic one – it really shows what we can achieve working together. And the ‘we’ includes our local landholders who have provided assistance in these works.
“Much of these works were undertaken in the driest times our Shire has seen in decades and local landholders have been very helpful with sourcing water to ensure these works can continue to progress.
“Works simply wouldn’t have been able to continue without the assistance and support we have received locally. A very big thank you.”
Sealing the 56 kilometre stretch of road between Boomi and Mungindi will also mean the school bus can run every day and emergency service vehicles can access every property as well.