INDUSTRY groups welcomed the government’s Bridges for the Bush program yesterday.
The NSW Minerals Council says it has targeted community projects where coalmining takes place in growing mining regions.
The council’s chief executive officer, Stephen Galilee, said the funded projects would compliment the millions of dollars in infrastructure investment that coal companies have injected into their communities in the New England and North West.
“(It’s) a positive step forward in addressing the challenges of growth facing many mining communities in NSW,” he said.
Mr Galilee said many of the mining industry’s workers were now living in those communities and it was important the infrastructure was upgraded to meet the challenges of increased populations.
The NSW Farmers Association said it had been calling for expenditure on the infrastructure for years and hoped the strategy would be implemented as soon as possible.
NSW Farmers’ president Fiona Simson said people deserved high-quality roads and trucks would soon be able to travel all the way to the farm gate.
The Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association said the initiative was critical in bringing failing regional NSW bridges into the 21st century to better cope with increasing road freight and higher productivity vehicle capabilities.
The association’s president, Barney Hayes, said the industries relying on freight were missing out on key productivity and safety improvements because of the critical “last mile” blockages created by inadequate bridge infrastructure.