Major South West Rocks Road upgrade under way

A major $4 million upgrade of the South West Rocks Road between Jerseyville and Kinchela is underway, with preparatory works to stabilise the Macleay Riverbank almost complete.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack visited the road today to see how the project was progressing with Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Kempsey Shire Mayor Liz Campbell.

Mr Conaghan said it was great to get out on the ground and see the benefits of the Federal and State Government’s record investment in fixing local roads starting to flow.

“It’s been some time since South West Rocks Road received a major upgrade and it’s being delivered now due to our Government’s record investment in infrastructure,” he said.

“Locals use this road every day to travel between South West Rocks and Kempsey. It’s a key local road for the Macleay community.

“The rehabilitation and resurfacing which will start soon will make it much safer and smoother for motorists to drive along in the future.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said this project was an excellent example of the thousands of local road upgrades occurring right across Australia.

“Right here in Kempsey Shire, we are providing significant support to the region for infrastructure and road works to support local contractors, local suppliers and local businesses as we recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires and the drought,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Only our committed Federal and State Liberal Nationals Governments fight and deliver for regional communities to get their fair share of infrastructure investment and it is great see this strong and resilient regional community benefiting and bouncing back.”

State Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the project was being delivered through the NSW Government’s $500 million Fixing Local Roads program, turbocharged by the Australian Government’s additional $191 million commitment, to see even more bush communities benefit from road upgrades, faster.

“We know how much better roads mean in the bush – and projects like this will be key to helping regional communities recover from the impact of bushfires, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Toole said.

“Big infrastructure projects might create a lot of headlines but these are small projects that make a big difference in people’s everyday lives.”

State Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the upgrade would be a game changer for locals who use the road every day.

“I know how important this upgrade is to local communities – it’s a road that families use to get to school, to get to the supermarket or get to work and home again, so I’m excited we’re now seeing work under way,” Mrs Pavey said.

“The upgrade will involve sealing a 7.3-kilometre section to deliver safer, smoother journeys for all motorists.”

Kempsey Shire Mayor Liz Campbell said the upgrade of South West Rocks Road was identified as a priority in Council’s 2020-2021 Operating Plan and will be carried out over the next two financial years due to the scale of the project.

“We are aware of the South West Rocks community’s concerns over the driving conditions on this stretch of road and it is a great result to be able to announce this much-needed upgrade,” said Cr Campbell.

“After securing this crucial funding we are ecstatic to have broken ground on a project that will significantly improve the drive for the community and tourists alike.”

“We thank the community for the patience regarding any minor delays experienced as a result of the roadworks, and we look forward to many more wonderful journeys on this vital road.”

This project is an example of many local road projects that is being funded in the region through various programs, including the new Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program which is providing more than $2.7 million for the Kempsey Shire Council.

Media Contacts:

Mr McCormack – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860

Mr Conaghan – Liz Spry 0418 928 744

Minister Toole – Ella Smith 0428 745 348

Ms Campbell – Giles Hardie 0411 221 016