Over 150 road and rail projects have been funded by the NSW Government’s $100 million stimulus spend on roads and maintenance — as part of the $2.3 billion COVID-19 package announced in March 2020.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said this has helped keep regional economies ticking and created local jobs, with the 150 projects supporting more than 600 jobs across regional NSW.
“Our accelerated maintenance program has fast-tracked projects that have proven a lifeline for communities — delivering safer roads and stronger freight and rail connections, as well as creating local jobs when they were needed most.
“Right across the state, this program is rolling out about 400km of rumble strips — which reduces the risk of head-on and run-off-road crashes by up to 25 per cent, upgrading 200km of rail line, improving car parks and working on customer amenities at 15 regional railway stations,” Mr Toole said.
Mr Toole said bringing these projects forward through stimulus funding has given regional communities a real shot-in-the-arm, especially those who have suffered a triple whammy of drought, bushfires and COVID-19.
“In the south we’ve rolled out more than $500,000 of roadside barriers and other safety upgrades to the Monaro Highway and Kosciuszko Road, almost $2 million to rehabilitate the road on the Kings Highway near Nelligen, and more than $1 million to rehabilitate a three-kilometre section of the Sturt Highway near Euston,” Mr Toole said.
“Further north, almost $770,000 went towards work on the Golden Highway near Muswellbrook, more than $826,000 for road intersection upgrades in Taree, and more than $5 million for Newell Highway upgrades at Pilliga, between Narrabri and Moree, and from Mungleback Creek to the Queensland border.
“In the state’s far west, $1.5 million was spent strengthening and widening a section of the Silver City Highway at Kellys Creek, south of Broken Hill.”
The stimulus funding allowed Transport for NSW to deliver more projects in addition to the planned program of work, providing an essential boost to regional economies by supporting local jobs, businesses and sourcing local supplies.