Sam Farraway recently inspected works being delivered by Dungog Shire Council which will benefit the road transport industry.
The tour was hosted by Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell, which allowed Farraway to inspect the initiatives being developed and delivered in Dungog Shire.
Layzell said the New South Wales Government’s commitment to improving regional road networks is starting to benefit people in Shire.
“Locals and visitors are seeing results, after the NSW Government announced in May last year a $25 million commitment to upgrade and improve several sites across the Shire’s regional road network,” he said.
“Work associated with this Special Purpose Grant started late last year and is expected to be completed by mid-2026.”
Farraway said freight would also start to see benefits from the upgrades across the region.
“We’re continuing to improve outcomes for freight through the Fixing Country Roads program, which has funded five projects across the Shire worth $24.5 million, including the new Tillegra Bridge, which is saving truck drivers a 46 kilometre detour between Salisbury and Dungog since it opened in 2021,” he said.
One of the Council’s first major projects is a $3.1 million upgrade of Stroud Hill Road, including widening and stabilising 2.85 km of pavement for a safer and more reliable journey.
Other work being carried out include replacing 23 ageing timber bridges, which is being funded by almost $16.5 million from the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Bridges program.
“These bridge replacements will provide improved access to schools, services and jobs as well as increased freight connectivity and road safety in the community,” Layzell said. “This includes work currently underway on Archinal’s and Saxby’s bridges, which are due to be complete in coming months, with all 23 bridges expected to be completed by April 2024.”
Dungog Council is also working on 13 joint funded upgrades from the Australian and NSW Governments worth nearly $40 million, through the Black Spot Program, Regional Road Block Grant Program, the Bridge Renewal Program, NSW-Federal Road Safety Program and other initiatives.
In other news, Design work on the Newell Highway and Oxley Highway intersection has begun, with the $1.7 billion upgrade expected to improve safety and traffic flow for high productivity heavy vehicles.