Mt Lindesay Rd lobby hit slow going in Canberra

THE latest meeting of a lobby group working to secure a fix for the Mt Lindesay Rd last Friday heard that while discussions at a high-level Canberra meeting had been positive there was nothing yet in the form of a federal funding commitment.

The NSW State Government has pledged to consider matching funding, with at least $30 million needed to upgrade the road's worst sections.

Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce led the delegation in Canberra last week to meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, along with Nationals Senator John Williams, Member for Page Kevin Hogan, Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott, NSW Member for Lismore Thomas George, and mayors and general managers representing Tenterfield, Richmond Valley and Kyogle councils.

The main news to come out of Friday's meeting, at Legume, of the Legume to Woodenbong Rd Action Committee - formerly the Downs To Rivers Action Committee - was that an engineering study would be conducted on the Old Koreelah Bridge to determine if a load limit is needed, with a result either way expected mid-year.

The Tenterfield Shire recently knocked back a request from the Northern Rivers Meat Cooperative to use the Mt Lindesay as a B-double route, but the road is used by semi-trailers.

Friday's meeting was also addressed by Wagner's representative Denis Wagner, whose family is behind the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport development.

Mr Wagner told the meeting his company could see the value of an upgraded link from Queensland into NSW.

In a statement last week, Mr Joyce said the road presented "serious safety concerns" to the many vehicles which use the route each day.

This includes school buses and semi-trailers, which must divert onto the unsealed shoulders of the road when passing each other with little room to spare. The Canberra meeting heard that while some $30 million would be required for the works, the potential economic returns by improving the road could be up to $300 million over 30 years with major increases in the transportation of livestock, grain and tourism.

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