Community meeting to be called to update on works
Friday, 29 January 2021.
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has made an urgent appeal to Armidale Regional Council, requesting that the 4.3 tonne load limit on Kempsey Road be lifted for local traffic only.
Mr Marshall said the continued application of the arbitrary load limit was impeding the ability of local primary producers to go about their routine business and transport stock to and from market.
“The load limit is preventing many farmers along Kempsey Road and around the Lower Creek area talking advantage of improved seasonal conditions on the ground and continued strong stock prices,” Mr Marshall said.
“They simply cannot get their stock off their properties and transport them out efficiently while ever the load limit is in place, let along begin re-stocking their properties to take advantage of feed availability at the moment.”
Having driven the sometimes precarious road multiple times in the last few months, Mr Marshall said he understood council’s requirement, as the local road authority, to ensure safety for all road users, however, maintaining the load limit for locals, when the road was now quite useable, was an unnecessary burden on local primary production businesses which have had a horrendous 18 months through two disasters – drought and bushfires.
“Now is the time those producers are looking to get back on their feet, cashing in on good seasonal conditions and strong livestock market prices,” he said.
“We cannot afford to see these people unnecessarily suffer further.
“I have written to council’s new General Manager requesting an urgent review and lifting of the load limit to allow farmers along Kempsey Road and around Lower Creek to transport stock onto and off their properties to market.”
Mr Marshall said he would be convening a community meeting at Lower Creek next month and inviting Armidale Regional Council, Transport for NSW and Regional Roads and Transport Minister Paul Toole to discuss and update the local community on the progress of the remediation of the road, spending of previously awarded grant funds for upgrading the road and the reclassification of the road.
“I’ve received multiple request from individuals to meet onsite and discuss their concerns about progress on the road upgrades and transferring to road back into State Government hands, as per the commitment at the last election,” he said.
“There’re also a lot of rumours and misinformation floating around and a meeting where everyone is present is the best way to clear the air and provide accurate information to locals and answer all of their questions too.
“I’m keen to hear about the $4.6 million upgrade works plans and progress and also to keep the government to its word on the reclassification, which is crucial to the longer-term improvement of this important road.
“I’ll be finalising a date shortly and issuing invitations to locals, council, the Minister and government agencies.”