16 November, 2020
Farmers in the Blayney Shire will soon have heavy vehicle access across the Gully Swamp Bridge thanks to a $170,000 grant under Round 5 of the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program.
The funding will go towards replacing the existing low-level bridge with a new, 12 metre x 4.8 metre bridge which will enable vehicles of all weights and sizes to traverse it.
Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee inspected the project site on Monday with representatives from Blayney Shire Council.
“Gully Swamp Bridge is an essential piece of infrastructure for the local community,” Mr Gee said.
“It is a critical access point for ten farming families to their properties as well as ensuring that RFS personnel can get to the nearby Pennsylvania/Roseberg Forest during bushfire season.
“But the current bridge is simply not adequate and is potentially dangerous. Smaller cars and sedans have limited ability to cross the bridge during wet weather.
“This funding resolves that problem. The new bridge enables all-weather access, because it is more elevated than the existing bridge,” Mr Gee said.
Mayor Scott Ferguson welcomed the announcement.
“The current bridge prevents access for heavy vehicles to ten farming properties, with no alternative access available. That makes this project very valuable to some of our local residents,” said Mayor Ferguson.
The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $340,000. Blayney Shire Council will provide the balance and is currently sourcing funding under various grant programs.
The Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) is an Australian Government initiative to fund the upgrade and replacement of bridges to enhance access for local communities and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access.
As part of the Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019-20 Budget, the Australian Government has committed an additional $25 million per year to the BRP from 2019-20. The Government will provide $640 million from the 2015-2016 financial year to the 2022-2023 financial year, with an on-going commitment of $85 million each following.