Local Communities Central in Newell Highway Study

Local expertise to boost freight efficiency and road safety, as well as flood preparation, are front and centre as the Australian Government’s Newell Highway Corridor Strategy gets under way, with PwC Australia selected to deliver the study.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Strategy will provide a comprehensive picture of the current performance and future challenges along the Newell Highway.

“The Federal Liberal and Nationals’ Government is investing $2 million to the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy, because we know this highway is the backbone of country NSW,” Mr McCormack said.

“A better Newell Highway will mean more competitive agricultural and mining sectors, thanks to a more reliable freight network through regional New South Wales. This will in turn support the growth of regional communities along the length of the Newell Highway.”

Efficient outcomes in the movement of regional freight, as well as challenges such as road safety and flooding, and the relationship between the Newell Highway and Inland Rail will be key to its inquiries.

The Strategy will be able to be used to inform the investment decisions of both federal and state governments.

Mr McCormack said community, local government and industry involvement will be central to the strategy, ensuring the Government proceeds based on the best transport and economic data and a thorough understanding of communities and businesses’ needs and expectations.

“Many towns, farmers and small businesses throughout the Central West, Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and western NSW rely on the Newell to connect product from paddock to plate – that’s why we will work with communities along the Newell to ensure it continues to be at the heart of the country NSW,” Mr McCormack said.

“Bland Shire Councillor Tony Lord and Moree Plains Shire Mayor Katrina Humphries – two experienced and respected local Councillors from either end of the Highway – will head the community consultation to encourage locals to get involved and have their say.

“A number of workshops will be held along the corridor at different locations so vital local knowledge can inform outcomes and recommendations of the Strategy.”

The Australian Government is fully funding the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy. Further details about the Newell Highway Corridor Strategy, including its objectives, can be found at https://infrastructure.gov.au/roads/.