Mullaley residents are rejoicing at the news that an upgrade of the notorious Grain Valley Road can finally go ahead.
For more than 10 years, the residents have been lobbying for the remaining 17.4km of gravel road to be sealed to improve safety and travelling time.
In late August, the federal government committed up to $3.85 million in funding under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, and the Gunnedah Shire Council committed $500,000.
The state government was the last to come to the party, announcing a commitment of $3.85 through the NSW Fixing Country Roads program on Friday. The estimated cost of the project is $8.2 million.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the Grain Valley Road would be widened and 18km sealed, with bridgeworks to provide better all-weather access for larger heavy vehicles.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey made the trip to Mullaley to see the road for herself.
She said projects like Grain Valley Way improved connectivity between regional centres, state roads and freight facilities, reduced travel times, saved maintenance costs, improved safety, and brought freight costs down.
“Freight is worth more than $60 billion to the NSW economy [so] it’s vital that our roads are able to support efficient freight movements that power, feed and provide for the state,” Minister Pavey said.
Parkes MP Mark Coulton has been backing the community in its call for the upgrade and said it would improve the inter-regional transport link between the central west and north-west of the state.
“Together we have put our case and I am delighted that the government which I am part of has delivered for the Gunnedah shire,” Mr Coulton said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.