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Newell Highway Task Force meets in Coonabarabran to discuss planned improvements

Coonabarabran was the location for the recent triannual meeting of the Newell Highway Task Force. The meeting was full of good news including the announcement of the Newell Highway Overtaking Lane Alliance Program and further drought support from the NSW Government.

Warrumbungle Shire Council Director of Technical Services, Kevin Tighe, said “The Newell Highway Overtaking Lane Alliance Program is aimed at improving safety, reducing travel times and improving freight productivity along the Newell Highway”.
 
“The new program is welcomed and will include the development, design and construction of around 30 additional overtaking lanes at different locations on the Newell Highway, from Tocumwal in the South through to Goondiwindi in the North”, said Mr Tighe.

“The Task Force Meeting was also provided with an update from the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) on the heavy vehicle route through Coonabarabran”.

“The RMS are currently investigating and assessing three different options which will enable heavy vehicle access in and around the township of Coonabarabran, said Mr Tighe”

“The RMS will soon be in contact with Council to discuss details and the three options as well as their feasibility. Options will then be released to the community and placed on public exhibition for the local community to have their say”, Mr Tighe said.
 
As well as working closely with Warrumbungle Shire Council on long term improvements for motorists along the Newell Highway, the Newell Highway Task Force are also committed to working with local council’s to increase freight productivity. With this focus in mind the Newell Highway Task Force welcomed further drought support announced by the NSW Government including the new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistant Dimension Exemption Notice.
 
Mr Tighe said, “Some roads throughout the Shire and indeed the Newell Highway through Coonabarabran are not currently accessible by road trains.  However, the State Government and Council are now making exemptions for access by Road Trains that are transporting hay fodder to drought affected farmers.”

Mr Tighe continued, “having this exemption in this time of drought means that more hay fodder can be transported per truckload, reducing the costs for farmers. Council has already approved a number of routes for road train access for trucks transporting fodder and the RMS has made the full length of the Newell Highway open to road trains carrying fodder.”

“Warrumbungle Shire Council looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Newell Highway Task Force and the RMS on improving the Newell Highway for the benefit of our local communities, as well as motorists travelling along the Newell Highway.”

NHTF Warrumbungle Shire Council 20180814 2

Image L-R: Cr Ken Keith OAM, Mayor Parkes Shire Council; John Morris, Regional NSW High Productivity Road Transport Alliance; Matthew Lewis, Dubbo Regional Council, John Zannes, Forbes Shire Council; Alistair Lunn, Western Regional Director, RMS; Cr Doug Batten, Mayor Gilgandra Shire Council; Cr Tony Lord, Mayor Bland Shire Council; Cr Graeme Miller, Mayor Forbes Shire Council; Cr Dennis Todd, Deputy Mayor Warrumbungle Shire Council; Kevin Tighe, Warrumbungle Shire Council; Luke McDermott, Narrabri Shire Council. Absent from the photo was Cr Peter Shinton, Mayor Warrumbungle Shire Council.  

Last Updated: 12 Sep 2018

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