Picture: Jeremy Frost/Prime7 News

The Nationals in Government have secured $2 million for the development of a Newell Highway Corridor Strategy as hay rolls out for farmers throughout the State.

According to various media reports, 22 trucks carrying 934 tonnes of hay are on their way from Western Australia to farms around Condobolin, while Prime7 reported 14 Tasmanian trucks carrying 300 tonnes of hay had passed through the Riverina, dropping off loads on their way to Moree.

This highlights how important it is to have quality infrastructure across the State’s rural and regional areas, as vital feed makes its way to hungry livestock.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the $ 2 million strategy funding recognised the importance of the Newell Highway as a corridor of commerce.

“The Newell Highway is the longest highway in New South Wales and provides a major freight and passenger transport connection to Victoria and Queensland,” Mr McCormack — who is also Minister for Infrastructure and Transport — said.

“Many towns, farmers and small businesses throughout t he Central West, Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and western NSW rely on the Newell to connect product from paddock to plate, as well as providing a vital economic boost to communities along the highway. Partnering with the NSW Nationals, we want to work with communities along the Newell to see how we can ensure it continues to be the lifeblood of the region, as well as ensuring those who use it can get home sooner and safer.”

Mr McCormack said the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy would identify priority road upgrades along the full length of the highway in New South Wales.

“This study will identify and prioritise the key upgrades required on the Newell Highway which increase productivity for freight operators and improve safety for all road users,” Mr McCormack said. “The Australian Government is investing $9.3 billion for the delivery of the Inland Rail project and this study will investigate opportunities to better integrate the Newell Highway with rail operations.”

It comes less than a month after the State and Federal Nationals marked the completion of the Newell Highway to Wirrinya Heavy Vehicle Route upgrade, which strengthened the regional freight network for the Central West, providing a vital transport link for the grain and livestock industries.