Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway have announced $76 million in joint Commonwealth and NSW Government funding to upgrade Mandalong Road and unlock the economic potential of the Lake Macquarie region.
“This investment today will replace two roundabouts on Mandalong Road with traffic lights and duplicate a stretch of the road to significantly improve traffic flow,” said Mr Joyce.
“Providing two lanes in each direction between the Pacific Motorway and Freemans Drive will improve travel times and journey reliability for vehicles on this key east-west route.”
“Additional turn bays will be provided to ensure motorists and heavy vehicles are able to safely and easily turn into and off Mandalong Road, which intersects with the Pacific Motorway,” said Mr Farraway.
“This upgrade will unlock the potential for surrounding lands to be developed, including new opportunities for the freight industry to use this beautiful region as a hub, situated almost halfway between Melbourne and Brisbane.”
Lake Macquarie City Council CEO Morven Cameron said “This upgrade to Mandalong Road and its associated intersections is required to release development lands that will allow Morisset to grow and realise its potential.”
“Investors and families are already targeting Morisset for its strategic location and capacity to service residential and commercial needs, with more than $1.2 billion of housing, tourism, commercial and industrial development poised for delivery,” Ms Cameron said.
Commonwealth funding for this project totals $56 million, with NSW Government contributions totalling $20 million and is subject to the completion of a final business case.
Nationals’ candidate for Hunter, James Thomson, said the coalition wants a strong economy where all regional Australians can get a job and pursue their dreams.
“I am committed to making roads safer and improving the quality of life for families on the western side of Lake Macquarie,” said Mr Thomson.
“Mandalong road upgrades will ease congestion, reduce commuting times and unlock over $1 billion worth of investment into Morisset and surrounding areas.
“The Labor Party have taken this area for granted for far too long.”
The government’s $750 million investment into the Hunter under the $7.1 billion Energy Security and Regional Development Plan announced in the 2022-23 Budget also includes:
• $268.8 million to build the New England Highway Bypass to Muswellbrook, better connecting regional industries and helping them get their products to port.
• $100.0 million to support pre-Final Investment Decision activities and early works to make the Port of Newcastle ‘hydrogen ready’.