Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced Bland Shire Council will receive $350,000 to develop a business case for the West Wyalong to Condobolin Road project.

“I’m very pleased the NSW Government has seen the potential of this project,” Ms Cooke said.

“We’ve been able to secure funding of up to $350,000 from the Restart NSW Regional Growth Fund for Bland Shire Council and Lachlan Shire Council to develop a business case and assess feasibility, a vital first step.”

The project involves upgrading the 104km of road between West Wyalong and Condobolin to accommodate AB triples/HML vehicles.

More drivers are using the route as an alternative to the Newell Highway in times of congestion and its upgrade will serve both agricultural productivity and driver safety.

“The Bland and Lachlan Shires are some of the most productive agricultural areas in the entire state,” Ms Cooke said.

“Bland have been exploring how to go about funding this road upgrade and I’m supporting them to get this done.”

Ms Cooke has convened a working group, consisting of RMS, Bland Shire Council, Lachlan Shire Council and Department of Premier and Cabinet representatives to help manage and drive the project forward.

She made the funding announcement at their first meeting in West Wyalong on October 10.

“This announcement takes the NSW Government commitment to this project to over half a million dollars, signifying a recognition of the value of this route within the freight landscape of NSW,” Ms Cooke said.

On September 29, 2017, John Barilaro announced $200,000 for Bland Shire to undertake a structural assessment of the road.

The Council recently applied for project funding under Round 6 of the Restart NSW Resources for Regions Fund, but were unsuccessful in securing the $54 million requested.

The business case funding will support the Council to submit future applications for funding the multimillion dollar project.