Following their recent meeting about the Wallendbeen Bridge replacement project, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has met with the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads on site.
“After calling for a resolution to access issues which have put this project at a standstill since March, I appreciate the Minister visiting the worksite in person to better understand the impacts of further delays,” Ms Cooke said.
“The community of Wallendbeen is quite rightly frustrated by the lack of progress since the Government went into caretaker mode.
“Equally so are our local primary producers and freight operators given the temporary structure is inadequate for sustained freight movements, particularly during the harvest season.”
Ms Cooke said the Minister’s visit follows a Transport for NSW (TfNSW) community information session in Wallendbeen at the end of June.
At the drop-in session, residents were informed three rail possession arrangements between TfNSW and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) would be required in order to complete the project.
“Although access to the rail corridor is crucial for key components of the build to be completed, the timeframes indicated for this to take place are a huge concern.
“With an initial project completion date of late 2023, the final rail possession is now not expected to take place until to September 2024.
“I therefore welcome the opportunity to further discuss the project with the Minister, to ensure we leave no stone unturned in seeking to fast-track the completion of this crucial project for the region.”