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NSW state funding of $20m for softwood roadworks

Cootamundra Gundagai Councillor David Graham, SWG Economic Advisor Diana Gibbs, Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke, SWG Chair Peter Crowe, Greater Hume Mayor Heather Wilton, and Snowy Valleys Councillor Bruce Wright at the announcement ceremony near Adjungbilly

A $20.35 million road funding grant applied for by the Softwoods Working Group (SWG) under the NSW Government’s Growing Local Economies Program has been successful. SWG Chair Peter Crowe said the grant was tremendous news for the regional economy. Source: Timberbiz

The $20.35 million would be injected into road and bridge works on the Nanangroe, Red Hill, Bombowlee Creek, Broadleaf Park, Taradale/Westbrook and Coppabella Roads.

SWG is a national leader in road infrastructure planning, plantation expansion advocacy, policy and strategy and has strong and broad regional support from local government, forest-based industries and relevant government and non-government agencies.

“This is the culmination of a four-year campaign by SWG, which emanates from the last update of the Softwood Road Haulage Plan,” Mr Crowe said.

“This complex project ranges across three electorates; Cootamundra, Wagga Wagga, Albury and the local government areas of Cootamundra Gundagai, Snowy Valleys and Greater Hume.

“The success of the project relies on detailed softwood plantation yield data and corresponding road haulage data projected across the next 20 years.

“In parallel, it has been supported by detailed engineering road and bridge requirements.

“This has required a very high level of teamwork and expertise by forest managers, industries and road infrastructure engineers.”

Mr Crowe said achieving the funding was a great exercise in teamwork and has engaged all levels of government and industry.

“We are very fortunate that the Deputy Premier John Barilaro and local members of parliament have given this project strong support. In fact, the Deputy Premier spent considerable time understanding the detail of the complex proposal and we applaud him for his efforts,” he said.

Mr Crowe said the funding was a very important step forward in the improvement of road infrastructure in the region for the plantation-based industry, which generates $1 billion a year in gross regional product and supports the employment of nearly 5000 people.

“A key outcome will be the reconstruction of the Bombowlee Creek Bridge, which has been the site of several fatalities and numerous accidents.

“Our road network will be safer as a result of this funding and more efficient for log haulage operators.

“Getting to this point took a concerted and persistent effort by many members of the SWG and thanks to one and all for a great team effort,” he said.