NSW Fixing Country Bridges – Transformative funding for local government

NSW Fixing Country Bridges – Transformative funding for local government

IPWEA NSW and ACT welcomes the release of the $500 million Fixing Country Bridges Program funded by the NSW Government. The Program aims to create a new legacy for our local road network, enabling councils to replace hundreds of timber bridges in poor condition and better connect regional and rural communities.

The $500 million Fixing Country Bridges and $500 million Fixing Local Roads programs are a direct result of the asset benchmarking project started by the Road and Transport Directorate in 2006. The Roads and Transport Directorate is a joint initiative between IPWEA and LGNSW, to improve road and transport outcomes for local communities.

When announcing these programs in 2020, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said ‘IPWEA NSW recently reported over 400 timber bridges as either in poor or very poor condition, that’s not acceptable’.

The Hon. Paul Toole, MP, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads met with Grant Baker, President IPWEA NSW and ACT, at Blayney Shire Council to discuss the rollout of the Fixing Country Bridges Program on February 8, 2021.

Mr Toole confirmed how important this Program is for regional NSW, ’replacing old timber bridges, many being over 100 years old, in regional NSW supports freight but also provides critical access for emergency services, and provides improved community connections to schools, towns and jobs.

Mr Baker recognised the work of the Roads and Transport Directorate, and Bridge Working Party who have worked for many years to see this. 'Collecting data that has enabled local government to advocate directly to government and offered an evidence based solution. This program will see the replacement of ageing and vulnerable timber structures with concrete bridges, supporting improved access for freight transport, regional economic development, and improving social equity and community resilience in times of crisis, across regional NSW'

ENDS

For further comments, please contact:
Grant Baker (IPWEA NSW President) 0418 112 855
Francine Binns (IPWEA NSW CEO) 0417 065 505
Arjan Rensen (Manager Road and Transport Directorate) 0420 531 500
E: nsw@ipweansw.org