A $100m investment for the Barton Highway by the Australian Government has been announced as part of the 2018–19 Australian federal budget.
The announcement was made today ahead of the budget release on Tuesday, May 8.
Sophie Wade, convenor of the Duplicate the Barton Highway Community Action Group, welcomed the news.
”I’m thrilled, very happy. From my understanding, it’s new funding that brings us up to $200m.
Of that $200m so far, $150m is from the Federal Government and $50m is from the State Government.
“I’ve seen bits and pieces of details and hope that the latest funding will allow us to go a lot further on the duplication.
“We’ve always been told we’ll go as far as the money takes us,” Ms Wade said.
We’ve always been told we’ll go as far as the money takes us.Sophie Wade, convenor of the Duplicate the Barton Highway Community Action Group
“We’re delighted because the money has been committed, which means we’re not repeatedly paying the costs of setting up the project.
“It’s also great to see recognition of this issue by the Federal Government,” she said.
The $100m Barton Highway funding, under the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative, comes as part of a $200m commitment from the Coalition Government this morning.
The other $100m will be invested in the Monaro Highway Upgrade Package.
Zed Seselja, Liberal Senator for the ACT, welcomed the announcement.
“This commitment will improve connectivity between regional NSW and the ACT,” Senator Seselja said.
“Projects to reduce congestion and improve the safety of these roads are amongst the options being considered, with the Barton Highway duplication business case due later this year, and the 2016 election commitment of a study investigating the widening of the Monaro Highway underway,” he said.
Federal member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly said it was not clear what was announced.
”We need to see the details before commenting further,” he told the Tribune.
”Community members are justifiably fed up with continuous announcements and little action.”
“It has only been through the pressure that I put on the Government together with the community's campaign that this Government has understood the importance of duplicating the Barton Highway,” Dr Kelly said.
He said the Government needed to follow through on this project with a fully costed plan to get the full duplication done from start to finish.
“We won’t tolerate any more ifs, buts, maybes or weasel words.”
Minister to visit Yass
Meanwhile, the Tribune understands that Melinda Pavey – Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight – and the RMS will attend the Yass Bowling Club (Yass Bowling Club (8 Adele Street) on Friday, May 11 for an industry and community meeting.
The event is set to begin at 9.30am.
More information about the latest Barton Highway investment and the minister’s visit to be provided as it comes to hand.