The Riverina and Central West will share in a $408 million road safety funding blitz across New South Wales thanks to a partnership between the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments designed to save lives.
Five road projects within the Riverina electorate will be improved as part of more than $29 million in funding to enhance road safety across the region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack said the state and federal NSW Nationals in government were working tirelessly to ensure works started immediately and were completed by June to get people home sooner and safer.
“As someone who proudly lives, works and has raised a family in regional NSW, I know just how important safe, efficient road connections are to local communities,” Mr McCormack said.
“That’s why we are rolling out this funding to deliver lifesaving upgrades including shoulder widening and rumble strips along the Newell Highway near Alleena and south-west of Forbes, the widening of a section of Goldenfields Way north of Barmedman, upgrading the Burley Griffin and Mary Gilmore ways intersection at Bryces Hill Road, just south of Ariah Park, and a number of safety measures along the Sturt Highway from Wagga Wagga to Mildura which will help to prevent collisions and road crashes and protect against roadside hazards.
“This investment won’t just save lives, it will also provide a shot in the arm to local economies as we come back from the COVID-19 recession, with these projects expected to support many local jobs.”
NSW Nationals Upper House MP Sam Farraway said that this funding showed the dedication of the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments to improving regional road safety.
“We remain committed to reducing our states road toll. last year 297 lives were lost on roads in NSW and I think we can all agree that is 297 too many,” Mr Farraway said.
“There’s nothing more important than someone getting home safely to their family at the end of the day and these works will do just that by improving the Newell Highway, widening shoulders and installing new centreline markings that will alert drivers when they move too close to the wrong side of the road.”
NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said safety barriers, rumble strips and wide centrelines were among the measures being rolled out under the program designed to save lives.
“As part of this investment, 261 priority projects will be delivered across NSW – 150 of these on regional roads, building on our vision of a safer, stronger regional NSW,” Mr Toole said.
“These projects will help prevent the loss of more than 538 lives and serious injuries on our roads over the project life – that’s the difference between 538 people making it home safely to their families at the end of the day.”
The NSW Nationals in the federal government’s funding for the Road Safety Program is subject to ‘use it or lose it’ provisions and will deliver life-saving treatments on regional roads and to protect vulnerable road users across NSW, while also supporting local jobs and providing a welcome boost to local economies.
The ‘use it or lose it’ provisions require States and Territories to use their notionally allocated funds within a timeframe, or the funds can be reallocated to projects in other jurisdictions.
In total, the NSW Nationals in the federal government have committed up to $300 million and the NSW Nationals in the state government a further $108.2 million to fund the statewide upgrades under tranche one.
For more information on the NSW Nationals in the federal government’s road safety initiatives, visit www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au.