Member for Northern Tablelands, left and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole on the Newell Highway at Bellata.
Monday, 7 September 202
FOUR major road upgrades in the Moree Plains Shire, including preliminary upgrade works on the Newell Highway at Bellatta, have been fast-tracked with the State Government spending $3.1 million as part of a program to create jobs and boost the economy during COVID-19.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole visited Bellata last month to inspect the completed relocation of water utilities on either side of the village.
“The Newell Highway is the freight backbone of inland NSW – a key focus of the State Government’s plans to improve freight efficiency,” Mr Marshall said.
“Through this stimulus program $500,000 has been spent to relocate water pipes in preparation for the upgrade of the Newell Highway, Moree to Narrabri section.
“Planning is continuing for the upgrade which will see the construction of up to 33 kilometres of new road, including entire new sections of road, intersection improvements, widened road shoulders and five new overtaking lanes.
“This will improve safety for motorists, reduce future maintenance requirements, reduce travel time, improve flood immunity and reduce vehicle operating costs.”
The stimulus funding from the $2.3 billion COVID-19 package announced in March has enabled Transport for NSW to bring forward and deliver four projects in Northern Tablelands, in addition to its planned program of work.
Mr Marshall said fast-tracking the projects had helped to create jobs and provide increased transport efficiencies for local farmers and freight companies.
“As a result of the stimulus package, $1.9 million has been allocated for guardrail improvement and road resurfacing work at Whalan Creek Bridge and Maynes Lagoon on the Newell Highway,” he said.
“An additional $730,000 has also been made available to accelerate the widening of an 800 metre stretch of the Newell Highway south of Boggabilla.
“As a direct result of these stimulus projects, the equivalent of 12-14 full time positions have been supported during construction, as well as the engagement of seven local contractors and organisations for traffic control, equipment hire, gravel supply, water cartage and freight.”