Federal Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the Riverina and Central West will benefit from a $570 million state-wide infrastructure package.

The Nationals in Government have been working to bring forward critical road projects across the State to drive jobs, strengthen the economy and get people home sooner and safer.

Mr McCormack, who is the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said the Australian Government was investing heavily in key roads in regional NSW, which are vital to improved safety and supporting the economy through improved connectivity to the regions and to our markets.

“The Government recognises the need for these key rural roads to receive the upgrades they need to be safer, more efficient transport corridors as soon as possible,” Mr McCormack said.

“In the Riverina and Central West, we are accelerating the $200 million investment in the Newell Highway to support construction of the Parkes Bypass and the delivery of the Inland Rail.

“Investments under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative will address pinch points and impediments to efficient freight movements along the corridor, improving travel times, better connecting communities and supporting the economy.

“This investment will be informed by the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy, which is considering efficient outcomes in the movement of regional freight, challenges such as road safety and flooding, as well as the relationship between the Newell Highway and Inland Rail.

“The Newell Highway is the longest highway in New South Wales and provides a major freight and passenger transport connection to Victoria and Queensland.

“Many towns, farmers and small businesses throughout the 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.

“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.”

The package includes the acceleration of $530 million in federal funding across three major regional projects to increase safety, improve freight productivity and boost tourism.

A huge $212 million of the new package will be spent in the next 18 months, as part of a concerted effort to cut travel times and make roads safer while boosting jobs and the economy.

Newell Highway upgrade package brought forward:

  • $200 million for the $400 million Newell Highway Upgrades package
  • Funding will flow from next year and the following three years to enable the start of works, including the Parkes Bypass project, after previously being allocated beyond 2024–25.
  • The Australian Government’s contribution to the package is $400 million.
  • The NSW Government is partnering with the Australian Government on both funding and delivery of works on this corridor.
  • Further investment decisions will be informed by the Australian Government’s Newell Highway Corridor Strategy and will target improved safety for all road users and help realise transport efficiency gains offered through the delivery of Inland Rail.