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NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey today announced $500 million for Fixing Country Bridges, to repair and replace NSW’s broken timber bridges in rural and regional communities.

“Since the days of the horse and cart, timber bridges have been an important part of the fabric of society for our rural and regional communities,” said Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

“Many of NSW’s timber bridges are now in need of replacement. Their ongoing maintenance can be expensive and they are prone to natural disaster, maintaining over 1800 deteriorating bridges across the state is one of the largest ongoing costs for regional councils.”

“Today’s $500 million funding commitment from the NSW Nationals in government will significantly ease this burden and create a new legacy for the management of NSW’s timber bridges.”

Mr Barilaro said since 2011, the NSW Liberals and Nationals have delivered over $19.5 Billion for road funding in Regional NSW.

“In addition, we have also supported our local Councils with over $3 billion in road funding over the past 8 years. Together we are delivering safer roads, improving travel times and boosting freight productivity across NSW.”

Minister for Roads and Freight Melinda Pavey said councils will be asked to nominate bridges that are currently rated in poor condition to be included in the fund.

“Because we have worked hard to repair the budget and repay the debt Labor left behind, a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has been able to establish a $500 million Fixing Country Bridges program to replace the worst timber bridges in regional communities,” said Mrs Pavey.

“Our commitment will help ensure regional and rural communities maintain access to towns, jobs, schools and hospital facilities, as well as fast track increased community connectivity, freight access, motorist safety and resilience during flooding events.”