Highway duplication to open sandstone curtain
The duplication of the Great Western Highway will help open the ‘sandstone curtain’ that has acted as a barrier for connecting central west food and fibre to consumers in Sydney and beyond, according to NSW Farmers.
Nationals Leader John Barilaro has today announced a re-elected Coalition Government would begin the design and construction of a 31 kilometre duplication of the Great Western Highway in the next term of government.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said the announcement is a positive step toward achieving the sub three hour freight journey between Orange and western Sydney.
“The potential value of New South Wales’ agricultural production is severely hamstrung by the quality of the supply and value chains that service it,” Mr Jackson said.
“The design and construction commitment of $2.5 billion for the Great Western Highway will help reduce the time it takes to cross the Blue Mountains, reduce freight costs for agricultural products and allow for improvement to the just-in-time supply chains needed for the export of premium goods via the Western Sydney Airport to consumers in Australia and the world,” he said.
NSW Farmers Hartley Branch chair Rachel Nicoll said the central west is one of New South Wales’ premier agricultural regions, with a gross value of production of close to $2 billion per annum, or 13 per cent of the region’s economy.
“This is not just about getting our quality produce to markets more efficiently, it’s also about getting more people to our region,” Ms Nicoll said.
“The Great Western Highway is also the gateway for tourism and decentralisation. Population growth over the Blue Mountains is booming and the duplication is needed urgently to service both the existing and projected population across the region.”
“The 2028 completion date can’t come soon enough. Once design is complete expedited construction will be critical. There is untapped potential in our region for boosting both the agriculture and tourism sectors.”
Date: Wednesday 6 March 2019
Media Contact: Michael Burt | 0428 228 988