Funding shines light on pathways

Local residents who enjoy active walking and cycling will enjoy the benefits from almost $1 million worth of projects at seven locations funded through the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Infrastructure Program.

The money is part of a total of $2.65 million allocated to Tamworth Regional Council in this current financial year to boost the local economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray said the funding is particularly welcome to support local jobs and businesses experiencing the financial impacts of COVID-19.

“This funding will result in some much wanted facilities and infrastructure in our community and at the same time parts of the construction will mean money will flow to local companies and local suppliers,” he said. “It’s a real win-win.”

Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the construction of new infrastructure will help support the community recover from the economic hardships experienced as a result of COVID-19.

“These projects are driving new money back into the local economy in Tamworth, and in the villages, at a time when we need it most,” Mr Joyce said.

“The $6 million in funding the Australian Government is providing to Tamworth Regional Council under this now extended program is helping to keep local people in work, businesses in trade and our local economy ticking along during the tough times.”

Cr Murray said the funding will provide just over 5 kilometres of cycleway lighting in three separate projects between Calala and the Tamworth CBD. “It means that by the middle of next year residents will be able to cycle or walk from Calala Lane along Goonoo Goonoo Road and Scott Road to the riverside walk in Bicentennial Park with the benefit of lighting the whole way,” he said. “That’s a great asset for our community.”

About 750m of footpath construction will be carried out in four locations in Belmore Street, West Tamworth; Namoi Street, Manilla; Nundle Recreation Reserve and Station Street, Kootingal. Council expects to engage local contractors to assist with this work.

Council expects to release a tender for the three cycleway lighting projects in the coming month with a contract expected to be awarded before Christmas. Installation of solar powered lights is expected to start by March 2021. It is expected Belmore Street will be the first location for footpath works starting before Christmas.

A total of $11.8 million in Australian Government funding was announced in May this year for local governments across the New England electorate under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. An extension of the program with an extra $12.1 million was announced as part of this month’s Federal Budget including $3,412,360 for Tamworth Regional Council.

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