Federal Government outlines commitment to the Barton Highway

The Federal Government has outlined its $150 million towards the duplication of the Barton Highway from the ACT towards Murrumbateman.

The upgrade is hoped to improve safety and reduce travel times for all motorists in the area.

The business case for duplicating the Barton Highway has been completed and was published in February 2020, with construction expected to start later this year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack released a statement reassuring locals of the government’s commitment to the Barton Highway after criticism from the Federal Labour about funding for the highway.

On 13 May Anthony Albanese posted on Facebook claiming the Federal Government had forgotten about the people of Eden-Munro.

“Scott Morrison cut annual investment in the Barton Highway by almost 70 per cent. He’s missing in action,” the post stated.

Mr. McCormack responded saying, the Federal Government has not cut infrastructure spending, especially not in regional Australia.

“We have increased our commitment to building infrastructure with a record $100 billion pipeline of projects over 10 years, with regional Australia benefitting from more than $30 billion since 2013-14,” he said.

Mr. McCormack said this funding will directly benefit the people of Eden-Monaro with almost $60 million dollars directed at the community from programs such as the Roads to Recovery, Black Spot upgrades, Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle Safety Productivity Program.

“We know how crucial these programs are and we know what regional communities want, need, expect and most importantly deserve.”

In April 2019 the Federal Labour Government announced it would improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion by investing almost $250 million to progress the full duplication of the Barton Highway between Murrumbateman and the NSW/ACT border.

This comes ahead of a by-election for the division of Eden-Munro, after sitting Labour MP Mike Kelly announced his resignation in April 2020.

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