Funding for Thunderbolts

THE federal Coalition government has recommitted funding towards the upgrade of Thunderbolts Way. 

Lyne MP David Gillespie last week announced the government would commit $3.84 million towards the upgrade of the road between Gloucester and Walcha.

The previous government granted $4 million to the upgrade as part of its Regional Development Australia Fund in June. 

However, following the election federal Nationals leader Warren Truss said there was no guarantee the funding announced by the previous government would be forthcoming.

Dr Gillespie said the funding for the upgrade had come from the Coalition’s new $342 million community development grants program.

“Given the former government did not allocate funds to these projects, funding is now being provided through a new program under our government,” Dr Gillespie said.

“I have held discussions and written formally to both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister in support of the project and I am delighted they have been able to find savings elsewhere in the Budget to be able to deliver funds towards regional projects like this that provide a significant benefit to the region’s economy.”

Council’s Technical Service manager Gil Gendron said about $5 million would be spent upgrading the Thunderbolts Way with $2.8 million to be spent by Gloucester Shire Council.

He said the councils involved in the project, Walcha, Uralla and Gloucester, would commit an additional $1.1 million towards the upgrade.

“The areas where work will take place in our shire include a section on top near Mares Run, a 1.5km section near Forest Rd and a 1km section about 30km from Gloucester.  In total, 4.3km of works will be completed,” he said.

“We’ll be ripping up what’s there, adding new gravel layers and then reshaping and resealing the road. An independent assessment of the entire route identified those areas as the highest priorities for rehabilitation.”

Mr Gendron said he anticipated the work would take a couple of years to complete and would be done by council rather than contractors.

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