Missing Orange to Mudgee link a priority for governments

Media Release

DC227/2016

14 December 2016

Joint release with:

Andrew Gee

Federal Member for Calare

  • Upgraded crossing of the Macquarie River at Dixons Long Point would vastly improve links between Orange and Mudgee
  • Australian and NSW governments have each committed $100,000 towards investigations and planning
  • The project would benefit the wine and tourism industries while providing access to jobs and healthcare for the central-west

A push to upgrade a key link between Orange and Mudgee was reinforced today, with Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester driving to Dixons Long Point crossing with local Federal Member Andrew Gee.

Mr Chester said the Australian Government would match the New South Wales Government's $100,000 commitment to kick-start investigations into the upgraded road and crossing over the Macquarie River.

“This is a piece of infrastructure referred to as the missing link between two regional centres that play a fundamental role in the state's wine and tourism industries, and that is why we committed $100,000 towards planning for the project during the 2016 federal election campaign,” Mr Chester said.

“At present, the road from Orange to Mudgee via Dixons Long Point is unsealed and the river crossing is only suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles.”

Mr Gee said an upgraded crossing could deliver a wide range of benefits to the state's central-west.

“I'm delighted Minister Chester has been able to visit Dixons Long Point and see firsthand this vital road project, which would not only open up the entire Central West to tourism, but also link the country communities of Mudgee and Orange,” Mr Gee said.

“A large portion of road from Orange to Dixons Long Point and through to Mudgee is dirt and being able to drive the route with the Minister has given him a real understanding of the importance of investigating its upgrade. Building a crossing at Dixons Long Point would cut the trip from Orange to Mudgee or Gulgong by about 80 kilometres, which is a substantial saving. The crossing itself is only 42 kilometres from Orange and 49 kilometres from Mudgee.

“Former Member for Orange and NSW Deputy Premier, Sir Charles Cutler was one of the earliest advocates for this project and I believe that Minister Chester is the first State or Federal Minister to visit Dixons Long Point. I reckon Sir Charles would be delighted to know that such interest is being taken in the project.

“I'm very proud that in the short amount of time I've been the Federal Member for Calare, we've been able to secure a visit from the Federal Infrastructure Minister to see for himself why this project is so important to the Central West.”

Investigatory work is anticipated to start in 2017.