Barnaby Joyce said an overnight truck fire in Tenterfield's main street is yet more proof of the need for a heavy vehicle bypass around the town.
The incident happened in the early hours of Friday morning when the B-Double trailer caught fire, leaving just a smouldering shell in the town's main street and forcing the closure of the New England Highway.
Nearby shops suffered some damage before authorities extinguished the blaze. Luckily no-one was hurt.
"Imagine what could have happened if the prime mover caught alight with all that diesel on board," Mr Joyce said.
"Many shops probably would have burnt to the ground, including my Electorate Office which is just fifty metres away.
"This is why we need a Tenterfield Heavy Vehicle Bypass," he said.
In 2016, the federal government provided $10 million to continue planning for the bypass, including the development of the concept design, Review of Environmental Factors (REF), property acquisition and detailed design.
The project includes 4.5 kilometres of new road, starting just north of the Tenterfield Creek Bridge on the southern edge of town, running west of the rail line and re-joining the existing New England Highway north of Tenterfield.
"The NSW Minister for Regional Transport, the Hon Paul Toole MP, has told me that Transport for NSW remains committed to continuing the development of this project, in line with the Australian Government's funding commitment," Mr Joyce said.
"I understand the REF will be displayed for community feedback sometime this year.
"When I was elected as the Member for New England, I promised to do all I could to build a bypass around Tenterfield.
"I will continue fighting to get this done for everyone's safety," he said.
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