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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


The contract for early work for the Muswellbrook Bypass has been granted to Fenech Demolition Pty Ltd, a local second-generation, family-run and proudly Aboriginal owned business.

Improving employment and business opportunities for the Aboriginal communities of the Hunter region is a key feature of the contract for early work on the New England Highway bypass of Muswellbrook.

Early works have already commenced with demolition work and general clearing starting last week.

Next steps for the bypass will involve inviting companies who have registered their interest to participate in the following Expression of Interest stage, before Transport for NSW develops a shortlist of tenderers by mid-year.

The Muswellbrook bypass will have significant benefits including improving safety for all road users in the town centre and reducing travel times on the New England Highway.

Key features for the Muswellbrook bypass include the construction of a 9.3-kilometre bypass with a single lane in each direction, a 376-metre-long bridge across Sandy Creek Road, Sandy Creek, Main North railway line, and a southbound exit ramp as well as southern, northern and central interchanges.

The $336 million project is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments, with the Australian Government committing $268.8 million.

More information is available at the Muswellbrook Bypass project page, including an interactive portal at

Quotes attributable to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:

“The New England Highway provides direct access for the Hunter Valley and New England regions to and from the metropolitan areas of Newcastle and Sydney.

“This much-needed project will transform travel across the growing Hunter region.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway:

“The NSW Government is moving our state forward by building the infrastructure projects needed in the Hunter to support one of the fastest growing areas in regional NSW.

“With so many major infrastructure projects already underway or just getting started in the Hunter Region, the NSW Government held an industry briefing in Newcastle last year to encourage more local involvement. Today’s announcement is just one of the success stories from that event.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Hunter Dan Repacholi:

“This project will reduce travel time along this major transportation artery and improve the connection between Newcastle and the New England Highway, M1 Motorway and the Pacific Highway.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell:

“Reaching this incredible milestone sends a clear message that the NSW Government is working hard every day to deliver the infrastructure that matters.
“Today’s announcement is a real win for local businesses, for local jobs and our local indigenous communities.
“This project will keep the Hunter moving forward by safety and cutting congestion for the 10,000 motorists, including a significant number of heavy vehicles, who use this route each day.”

Quotes attributable to Fenech Demolition managing director Julian Fenech:

“We have already secured other work in the Hunter Region and was pleased to help progress the bypass which will make such a difference to the people of Muswellbrook.

“Being a Wanaruah first nations man I am proud to be part of this project.

“The people of the Wanaruah Nation will benefit from this contract, which helps ensure they play a part in the benefits that will flow from the project.

PICTURE CAPTION: Minister Sam Farraway and Dave Layzell with the Fenech Demolition team at the Muswellbrook Bypass early works announcement.


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