The building blocks of our food and fibre future
NSW Farmers is calling for regional infrastructure to be a high priority and core component of the NSW Government’s 2021-2022 Budget when it is handed down later in the year.
The key arteries connecting our 800,000 plus square kilometre state must be a priority if we are to capitalise on agriculture’s heightened productivity and forge a path toward $30 billion by 2030.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said the headline project for regional NSW is the Great Western Highway upgrade.
“We note the Coalition’s progress in duplicating parts of the highway, but we believe further funding is required to expedite the planning and construction stages,” Mr Jackson said.
“The Great Western Highway is a commonly traversed inland thoroughfare linking multiple regions, including the Central West, with the domestic hubs and export gateways of Sydney.”
“The NSW Government has spent $15 billion upgrading the Pacific Highway, a key coastal connector, but unfortunately this level of investment is not replicated across the Great Dividing Range.”
“With the opening of the Western Sydney Airport and accompanying agri-precinct in 2026, we need to be in a position to transport high export value perishable produce in a timely manner. The aim should be to achieve a sub three-hour journey from the Central West to the new international airport.”
Mr Jackson said other vital infrastructure upgrades include the Newell Highway bypass of Dubbo and livestock underpasses.
“The Newell Highway is the longest highway in NSW. The NSW Government has committed $500 million to its upgrade, but has not planned for a bypass of major centres such as Dubbo,” Mr Jackson said.
“Freight along the Newell is expected to grow over the next 20 years. In the interests of efficiency, safety and productivity, it is best to bypass major centres.”
“The second round of the NSW Cattle Underpass Scheme should commence to make country roads safer and farms more efficient.”
“An improvement in seasonal conditions means important schemes such as underpasses postponed due to prolonged drought conditions, should be restarted as a priority,” Mr Jackson concluded.
Date: Thursday, 11 March 2021
Media Contact: Michael Burt | 0428 228 988 | firstname.lastname@example.org