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June 22, 2024 2:39 AM

Budget bonus for bypass of Singleton

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Tuesday night’s Federal budget has secured $560m for the Singleton bypass.

The NSW Government has already committed $94.7million to the project with a preferred route revealed in 2016.

Tuesday’s confirmation of Federal funding is a step closer for the project which will see a new section of highway built west of Singleton, across the floodplain, starting near Newington Lane and rejoining the New England Highway north of McDougalls Hill.

State Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen was delighted to share the news with the community.

“Transport for NSW has over the last couple of years worked hard to decide the route and the bypass design, and just as the Nationals in Government promised and delivered the Scone Bypass, we are delivering on our promise of the Singleton Bypass,” Mr Johnsen said.

While welcoming the news, Singleton Mayor Sue Moore, said the project was still $45million short and she continued to have concerns with the design.

“It has long been recognised that a partnership between the Federal and State governments was required to deliver the Singleton bypass, and the $560m to be allocated in the Federal Budget is a significant step forward to realising this vital piece of infrastructure.

“Our focus now will be on working with the NSW Government to commit to bridging the funding gap of about $45 million.

“But most importantly, we will be stepping up our efforts to ensure the project is built in keeping with the needs of our community and the people who regularly drive through our local government area. We need to make sure the bypass is built right now, not as a stop-gap measure that will require further attention 20 years’ down the track.

“Our community deserves a full interchange at Putty Road and John Street to make it easy for everyone to visit our Town Centre and get on their way again, and it needs to be dual lane for the entire length.

“I am pursuing meetings with the relevant State ministers as a matter of urgency to discuss these issues, and in light of the impending Budget announcement will be very keen to see a resolution and construction sooner rather than later.”

Federal member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon welcomed the funding but said it had come five years after state government funding and construction would not begin until 2023.

 “I’m pleased the Federal Government has committed to the Singleton Bypass, which is something I’ve been calling on for several years. It’s important that federal funding of regional infrastructure is made on the merits of a project, and I have argued that the Singleton Bypass has always stood-up on merit.”

 “The Bypass will improve amenity and congestion within Singleton, improve the efficiency of the New England corridor for business and industry, and get our coal mining employees to work more quickly and more safely.

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