Member for Lismore, Thomas George and Nationals candidate for Lismore, Austin Curtin have today announced $2.77 million to help Tenterfield Shire Council alleviate load limits on local bridges.

The funding will allow Council to assess the safe load limit for 40 bridges, identify maintenance issues and repair the structures making it safe of the short and medium term.

Mr George said he had been working hard with Tenterfield Shire Council on a solution which would reopen the road network and improve access for farmers.

“The bridge load limits have been one of the biggest issues facing industry in the Tenterfield Shire. Without access to these bridges, primary producers have faced long detours to get produce to market and many have been unable to receive vital water deliveries during the drought.

“By working with Council and Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, the NSW Government has provided an interim bridge program which will allow structure to re-open quickly while also allow a clearer understanding of what needs to be done to manage maintenance into the future,” Mr George said.

Mr Curtin said the interim measures will help reduce costs for farmers and transport companies.

“Our freight trucks carry our food, produce and raw materials which support the local community. This funding means freight vehicles will get to where they need to be in the most direct and efficient way possible.

“Once the bridge assessments are complete, my job will be to fight for the money needed to continue upgrades or construction of new bridges, so these vital road links remain open,” Mr Curtin said.

Mountain Blue Orchard’s Managing Director, Andrew Bell said since the 10 tonne load limit on the Emu Creek Bridge on Hootons Road was brought in the business has been unable to receive full loads of fuel.

v “Over the past twelve months our Tabulam operation has undergone an upgrade with tunnels installed to protect our fruit from the weather. Unfortunately the bridge load limits have restricted us from transporting heavy loads of steal and fuel to the property, drawing out the construction process.

“I thank Thomas George and NSW Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey for the work they have done to secure this funding. Through collaboration between private industry and government we have been able to come up with a solution which will re-open the road network and bring relief to farmers,” Mr Bell said.

More details can be found online at: www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/fixing-country-roads and www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/fixing-country-rail.

Photo: James Paynter, Tenterfield Shire Council; Stephen Ross, Clarence River Wilderness Lodge; Andre Kompler, Tenterfield Shire Council; Terry Dodds, General Manager, Tenterfield Shire Council; Andrew Bell, Managing Director, Mountain Blue Orchards; Thomas George MP; Peter Petty, Mayor, Tenterfield Shire Council; Kamaldeep Singh Clair, Mountain Blue Orchards; Austin Curtin, Nationals candidate for Lismore

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.