The Australian and New South Wales governments have today announced $33 million in funding for a program to identify more than 100 infrastructure improvements that will boost the resilience of the flood evacuation network throughout the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.
The project, which is being jointly funded on a 50:50 basis, will provide a plan of works to improve flood evacuation in the region such as road widening, new culvert and bridge structures, road raising, pinch point upgrades and drainage improvements.
Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said this was a vital investment, with 140,000 people currently living or working in the valley.
“The Morrison Government is committed to the safety and wellbeing of residents across the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, which has the highest flood risk in NSW,” Minister Fletcher said.
“This jointly funded planning study is an important step towards developing a program of works that will help improve the resilience of the local road network and support an efficient evacuation in the event of flooding.”
NSW Minister for Metropolitan Roads, the Hon. Natalie Ward MLC said that, following the release of the NSW Government’s Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities: Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy in 2017, Transport for NSW had identified a need for road infrastructure improvements across four Western Sydney Local Government Areas.
“These improvements include road widening, new culvert and bridge structures, road raising, pinch point upgrades and drainage improvements,” Minister Ward said.
“The NSW Government is working together with local councils and communities to manage risk and build flood resilience in this key area of Western Sydney.
“This will help ensure that both local issues and the broader strategy are considered to achieve best outcomes.”
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the infrastructure plan would establish a pipeline of critical projects that would help cement Western Sydney’s economic recovery.
“This plan will make our communities safer at the same time as generating local jobs across a variety of sectors,” Senator Payne said.
Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Tourism and Sport, Western Sydney and State Member for Penrith the Hon Stuart Ayres MP said: “The Hawkesbury Nepean Flood Strategy is a comprehensive plan to manage the risk posed by floods, and road upgrades to make them more flood resilient and to help enable evacuations in the event of a serious flood are an important part of that plan.”
Federal Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh is advocating for this funding to be administered as quickly as possible.
“During the March 2021 floods, Llandilo, Castlereagh, Londonderry, Agnes Banks were severely impacted by these damaging and dangerous floods,” Ms McIntosh said.
“So many families suffered damage to their homes, their properties, livestock and many were left with damaged homes or lost possessions. Our community needs this critical infrastructure to lessen the impact of future floods.
“I look forward to this rolling out as quickly as possible and to see the installation of drainage and road upgrades to ensure our community is kept as safe as possible during floods.”
Transport for NSW will work with local councils in the valley to deliver the improvements, which have been identified across state, local and regional roads.
The majority of projects will be undertaken in Penrith Local Government Area, with others in the Hawkesbury, Blacktown and The Hills Local Government Area.
For more detail about the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Road Resilience Program, go to https://roads-waterways.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/flood-resilience-program/index.html.
For more detail about the flood strategy, go to https://www.infrastructure.nsw.gov.au/expert-advice/hawkesbury-nepean-flood-risk-management-strategy/.