Motorists and freight operators will have better access to Condobolin and Central NSW in the event of local flooding and tourists will have more reasons to visit Lachlan Shire, thanks to $10.1 million in funding from the NSW Nationals in the state government.

NSW Nationals Upper House MP Sam Farraway said the Condobolin Freight Logistics & Visitor Information Centre Project will upgrade 8.7 kilometres of the Lachlan Valley Way and Gipps Way to reduce its susceptibility to flooding.

“As locals know only too well, heavy rain can cause substantial flooding across the very flat Lower Lachlan Valley, which disrupts residents and industry whose livelihoods depend on being able to travel and transport goods through the region,” Mr Farraway said.

“The road upgrade will widen, strengthen and raise the height of the roadway to protect this important travelling and freight route to a 1 in 20-year flood event, which will improve safe access during times of flood and minimise productivity loss.

“The 2016 floods which closed this section of road to traffic for weeks on end, along with record drought and recent bushfires have demonstrated the importance of being prepared for natural disasters and boosting resilience, which is why we are backing this project.”

The new Visitor Information Centre will also promote local and regional products, tourist attractions and experiences to encourage visitors to stay locally for longer.

Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the facility will further encourage the large number of people travelling to Lake Cargelligo and Condobolin for camping and water skiing to extend trips and stay in the Lachlan Shire, greatly benefiting the local visitor economy and lead to increased employment.

“The construction of a Visitor Information Centre at the junction of Lachlan Valley and Gipps Way will also encourage truck drivers, travellers and tourists stop for a break and make use of the new facilities,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Research has shown that providing information to visitors can encourage them to stay longer at a location, spend more money and experience more attractions, which will benefit both local businesses and the local economy.

“We all know the value of tourism to regional towns, particularly in light of COVID-19, and it’s great to see so many people returning to the regions during the school holidays, which means heads on beds in local motels and people dining in local restaurants.”

Mr Barilaro said work on the project is due to commence shortly, providing a stimulus to the local economy by providing work for local tradies, businesses and suppliers.