MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today announced the second round of the state’s Fixing Country Roads program is open and a further $50 million is available to local councils to help repair council owned roads and bridges.
Mr Marshall said that funding for round two was part of a $500 million commitment from Rebuilding NSW to fix council-owned infrastructure that created bottlenecks and hindered efficient freight transport across country NSW.
“The program is designed to better connect local roads to state highways and key freight hubs such as silos, saleyards, rail heads, supermarket distribution centres, industrial parks and depots to make it easier to move regional freight from paddock to port,” Mr Marshall said.
“The first round of Fixing Country Roads, announced in February this year, provided more than $2.8 million for four projects across the Northern Tablelands, worth almost $5 million, in Moree Plains (Croppa Creek Road), Inverell (Tin Tot Bridge), Uralla (Abington Creek Bridge) and Armidale Dumaresq (Rockvale Road) local government areas.
“Across country NSW, 77 projects were given the nod with $43 million allocated.”
Mr Marshall said he wanted the region’s local councils and joint organisations to get involved again and work closely with local industry and transport operators to identify and prioritise projects to make the most out of this round.
“I’m also encouraging councils to apply for matching funding under Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Programme, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme and National Stronger Regions Fund,” Mr Marshall said.
“This will enable our region to stretch government dollars even further and minimise the expense borne by local ratepayers to improve critical freight links.
“By partnering together in round one, the NSW Government, Federal Government and local councils turned $43 million into $73 million worth of infrastructure improvements for country areas.”
Mr Marshall said Fixing Country Roads had a two-stage application process: a one-two-page Expression of Interest (EOI), followed by a more detailed request for information from shortlisted projects.
The Infrastructure NSW Regional Independent Assessment Panel, which includes representatives from Local Government NSW, Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association of NSW, NSW Farmers Association and the NRMA will assess project applications.
The EOI phase closes on Friday, 11 December. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed application.
Successful projects are expected to be awarded funding at the end of March 2016 for delivery in the 2016-17 financial year.
For information on the Fixing Country Roads funding criteria, program guidelines, key dates and information on how to submit an Expression of Interest online, please visit www.freight.transport.nsw.gov.au