Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter this week joined with Wayne Bedggood, Mayor of Upper Hunter Shire, to announce that the Shire has secured $2.8 million towards the upgrade of Bunnan Road.
Mr Johnsen said this project was just one of the many projects across Regional NSW, which has been approved from the Nationals in Government’s Fixing Country Roads program that aims to improve freight movements across the state.
“The State Government has approved $2,895,346 for Upper Hunter Shire, which will allow for an upgraded road that will improve freight accessibility, and deliver better road safety outcomes allowing for the easier passing of vehicles,” Mr Johnsen said.
“The Fixing Country Roads program ensures our roads are able to carry the food, produce and raw materials that support our local community,” Mr Johnsen said.
- Work includes widening and sealing the road along with bridgeworks.
- This will deliver improved all-weather access for larger heavy vehicles to local livestock facilities and graziers between Scone and Merriwa
- Safety upgrades will also be undertaken
Mr Johnsen continued, saying the Fixing Country Roads program had reached almost $270 million, funding vital road upgrades delivering better connections to local communities across NSW.
“Freight is worth more than $60 billion to the NSW economy so it is vital that our regional roads are able to support more efficient freight movements in and out of our regional areas,” Mr Johnsen said.
Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Wayne Bedggood thanked Michael Johnsen MP and the NSW Government for the road upgrade funding.
“Council will now be seeking matching funding from the Federal Government to enable us to widen and strengthen the pavement on Bunnan Road in three sections covering 8.1kms, greatly improving lines of sight along the road,” he said. “Council is also contributing $400,000 to the project.
“This much needed roadwork will mean a safer and shorter trip for residents, school buses, freight carriers and the travelling public. Improved conditions for heavy vehicles will reduce the number of smaller trucks on the road, and make it easier for farmers to transport produce, including livestock from the paddock to Scone saleyards and abattoir.
“This will cut half an hour and 39km travel off the current alternate route and join up with the Scone Bypass,” Cr Bedggood said.
“It is a big step forward in our ongoing improvements to this essential Upper Hunter road.”
The Fixing Country Road program complements the Fixing Country Rail initiative, with both focusing on improving freight infrastructure and efficiency across the state.
The NSW Government has set aside more than $1 billion for regional road and rail projects under its Fixing Country Roads, Fixing Country Rail and Bridges for the Bush programs.
“So far, Fixing Country Roads has seen approximately $16.5 million made available to projects in the Upper Hunter Electorate since 2016,” Mr Johnsen concluded.