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Joint media release with the Hon Jihad Dib MP and the Hon Jenny Aitchison MP

Work is well underway to ensure the Northern Rivers region is better prepared to withstand future severe weather events, with physical works now starting this week to improve a stretch of Clarence Way.

The only road connecting north to south in this area, Clarence Way provides a vital thoroughfare between Woodenbong and Grafton in the south.

The project is being funded through more than $27 million from the Australian and New South Wales Governments and Kyogle Council. This includes:

  • A $10 million grant from the joint Federal-State Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package to ensure the road is rebuilt stronger and is better able to withstand future weather events
  • A further $9.09 million jointly-funded will fix damage from recent floods
  • The significant roads project is also boosted by a $4 million election funding commitment from the NSW Government
  • $4.26 million from Kyogle Council.

Kyogle Council will lead the rebuild of the road, which is severely potholed with many other pavement failures along this 22-kilometre stretch, as well as sections south of Sandilands and between Bonalbo and Urbenville.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt:

“All three levels of Government have been working really hard behind the scenes to get this, and many other Northern Rivers projects to the point where they’re ready to start physical works, so it’s very exciting to see it hit this milestone.

“The Australian Government is committed to building back better from natural disasters.

“When we make key roads like this one better able to withstand severe weather conditions, we improve evacuation and recovery efforts for communities right across the region.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister, Jenny Aitchison:

“The NSW Government is pleased to deliver its election commitment for Clarence Way.

“This additional $4 million in addition to the $5 million contributed to the RRTRP by the State Government will not only repair the damage caused by the natural disaster but ensure the road is more reliable in the future and safer for local residents and visitors.

The NSW Government is committed to building back better. We know for every $1 spent on resilience, we save $10 in disasters.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib:

“This is another example of all levels of Government coming together and getting on with recovery in the Northern Rivers.

“It is also important that we take these opportunities to build back better and this investment in Clarence Way will help ensure it will better withstand future weather events.

“It is great to see this project getting underway, showcasing how the NSW Reconstruction Authority can help coordinate across three levels of government to make priority improvements which will help boost resilience and assist communities recover from disasters.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery and State Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin:

“I’m proud to be delivering on one of my key election commitments to Kyogle Council –$4 million towards improving flood immunity of the Clarence Way at Tunglebung and Culmarran creeks between Sandilands and Bonalbo.

“This commitment is an integral part of a more significant betterment project for this section of the Clarence Way under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and is a win for local residents who campaigned for safety improvements and for all motorists who use the road.

“I worked closely with locals, including Kyogle councillors and staff to ensure that the community campaign to upgrade Clarence Way got real traction.”

Quotes attributable to Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Kylie Webster:

“We thank the Australian and NSW Governments for providing the betterment funding to make the Clarence Way more flood resilient.

“The Clarence Way is a vital transport link for residents in the west of our local government area.

“It was badly impacted in the 2022 floods and the RRTRP funding will allow Council to build it back better, ensuring residents of Bonalbo, Old Bonalbo and beyond have a safer, more reliable road including during times of heavy rainfall events.”

For more information on the Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package visit the Transport NSW webpage.

This release was originally published on the Ministers for the Department of Home Affairs' website.