BUDGET BOOST TO ACCELERATE BARTON HIGHWAY WORKS

Wednesday 13 June 2018

A safer, more efficient Barton Highway is closer to reality with the Australian Government committing $100 million in the 2018-19 Budget to this important corridor linking regional NSW and the ACT.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the funding was part of the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative to upgrade key freight corridors in regional Australia and increase productivity by connecting major agricultural and resource areas to our cities and ports.

“This new funding builds on our $50 million commitment which is progressing duplication from the ACT border west towards Murrumbateman,” Mr McCormack said.

“We are working with the NSW Government to accelerate these works, through consultation with industry on the design and progressing planning approvals,” Mr McCormack said.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the Barton Highway is a key connector for regional communities with the ACT.

“We know the Barton Highway is a critical connection for motorists and freight vehicles operating between the regions and the ACT.  We are also working closely with the NSW and ACT Governments and Local Councils to progress priority upgrades, which will be informed by the Barton Highway Duplication Business Case due later this year,” Dr McVeigh said.

“This additional funding will support regional tourism and freight travelling on the Barton Highway.”

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melina Pavey said the section between Yass and the ACT border has been notorious for crashes over the years and the new funding was very welcome.

“We are progressing the duplication and implementing Intelligent Transport Systems, which will improve trip reliability and better manage incidents via real-time traffic monitoring, CCTV and variable messaging informing motorists of changed conditions,” Mrs Pavey said.

Senator for NSW Jim Molan said works had already begun on tree trimming, adjustments to existing line marking and installation of updated road signs and safety barriers as part of the existing Barton Highway Improvement Strategy.

“Importantly, residents, farmers and other key stakeholders are being kept informed during the planning and construction process needed to duplicate the Barton Highway from the ACT border west towards Murrumbateman,” Senator Molan said.

Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said all levels of Government working together has helped secure the progress to date.

“The Federal Government, State Government and Council have worked closely with the Yass and Murrumbateman communities on this project. We know that there is more work to do, and today is another important step in that process,” Ms Goward said.

Mayor of Yass Valley Council Rowena Abbey said the Council is working closely with the Australian and NSW Governments throughout the entire development.

“Today reinforces the Federal Coalition Government’s commitment of an additional $100m towards the commencement of the duplication of the Barton Highway, a vital and strategic link between our nation’s capital and southern NSW,” Cr Abbey said.

“On behalf of the Yass Valley and the wider Canberra region we thank the Government for its commitment towards this major infrastructure project.”

The NSW Government has committed $50 million to the Barton Highway works.

Sam Edwards