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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


Upper Hunter MP and Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Dave Layzell, has welcomed the resolution of a funding impasse which had delayed construction of the new Clarence Town bridge.

“Residents of Clarence Town and motorists who regularly drive through the area needed an assurance that this project would go ahead after last July’s temporary closure of the historic Brig O’Johnston Bridge for urgent repairs,” Mr Layzell said.
“Coupled with the recent announcement of NSW Government funding from the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund to progress residential development opportunities, there is now little time to waste to provide much needed infrastructure for Clarence Town’s future.”

The NSW Nationals and Liberals Government made the initial funding commitment for the new crossing in May 2017 with $5.5 million under the Fixing Country Roads program.


The proposed bridge attracted an initial $8.8 million of Australian Government funding, which was topped-up with an additional $781,000 late last year, lifting the Commonwealth contribution to $9.581 million. 


Dungog Shire Council has been waiting since 2021 when it finalised the design and had Heritage NSW approval for the new bridge due a cost blowout delaying construction.


Council was thwarted when inflation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the costs of construction materials requiring it to find another $4.86 million to finish the project.


“I want to further acknowledge the efforts of Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison, for taking up my challenge issued last year to work on securing the extra funding needed for the new bridge,” Mr Layzell said.


“I thank Minister Aitchison for matching the NSW Nationals and Liberals funding of the Clarence Town bridge so that it can now be built and I hope the expectations of Dungog shire residents for better roads and bridges is a step closer to being realised.”

PICTURE CAPTION: Dave Layzell inspecting the damaged historic Brig O’Johnston Bridge, Clarence Town in July 2023.


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