Fixing Country Bridges program delivers a windfall for Oberon Council

FIXING COUNTRY BRIDGES: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, left, with Oberon Mayor Kathy Sajowitz and Oberon Council engineer Chris Schumacher at the Swallows Nest Bridge which will be replaced thanks to the NSW Governments Fixing Country Bridges program.
FIXING COUNTRY BRIDGES: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, left, with Oberon Mayor Kathy Sajowitz and Oberon Council engineer Chris Schumacher at the Swallows Nest Bridge which will be replaced thanks to the NSW Governments Fixing Country Bridges program.

Two bridges in the Oberon district will be replaced under the NSW Government's $500 million Fixing Country Bridges program to better connect regional communities and increase resilience to natural disasters.

The two bridges are Swallows Nest Bridge $422,800 and Bald Ridge Road Bridge $374,790.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the $797,590 investment in the Oberon local government area to replace these old timber bridges means improved community connections to schools, towns and jobs, allowing easier movement of freight and delivering better outcomes for road safety.

"On top of easing the financial burden on councils, this program will create thousands of local jobs throughout regional communities at a time when they're needed most," Mr Toole said.

"I'm glad that in the Oberon district, we're going to see these two bridges replaced under this new round of funding because I know what a difference they'll make to entire communities."

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said round one of the program will see more than 400 ageing bridges replaced by safer, modern bridges that will better withstand events like floods and bushfires, and ease the burden of maintenance for local councils and ratepayers.

"Regional councils maintain more than 1,800 timber bridges across the state, and we're delivering on our promise to help them replace ageing bridges," he said.

Mr Toole said the NSW Government had accelerated funding for the program with more than $290 million shared across 54 councils to replace 424 bridges in round one.

"That's hundreds of fast-tracked projects that will start across the state in the next 12 months, helping councils to create and support jobs, drive productivity and keep our regional communities connected," Mr Toole said.

Successful applications are timber bridges, located on a council-managed road which are not a heritage or truss bridge and are a priority asset to council. A second round of the program will be offered later this year.