North Coast roads are getting safer thanks to the Nationals in Government at both a State and Federal level.

Booyong Bridge — less than 20 kilometres from both Byron Bay and Ballina — was officially opened by NSW Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin on Tuesday.

Mr Franklin said the millions being invested in bridges was delivering the infrastructure the region needed.

“Ours is a very special part of the world and I am proud to be part of a Government which is delivering the investment in our bridges and local communities which we deserve,” Mr Franklin said.

It was the first of five new bridges being built as part of the Bangalow Bridges Replacement project.

Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Nationals Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new bridges would play an important role in the regional economy.

“Around Australia the Nationals in Government are investing in regional roads to ensure people can get home sooner and safer, as well as boosting productivity and creating local jobs,” Mr McCormack said.

NSW Nationals Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the replacement of five rural bridges over eight months was a major undertaking and would provide great benefits for residents.

“The Byron community will benefit from improved freight movements and residents will be able to have large loads of water transported in dry periods, a direct result of our investment that has delivered new bridges that will have load limits of 44 tonnes,” Mrs Pavey said.

Nationals’ Senator John Williams said the bridge would provide a boost to local farmers.

“This bridge connects Booyong’s agricultural industries to local, state and international markets, including the Booyong meat processing plant, macadamia, beef and dairy farms,” Senator Williams said.

The $5.17 million project is being jointly funded by the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government.

The other bridges being replaced are Parkers Bridge, James Bridge, O’Meara’s Bridge and Scarrabelottis Bridge.