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It’s the start of 2017 and I hope our Members had a wonderful
Christmas. While the festive season is behind us, the holiday
season is not.
Western NSW is growing as a cherished holiday destination
for Aussie families, especially those from Sydney. West of the
Great Diving Range (and indeed the Great Dividing Range itself)
offers some remarkable places to take the family over the
summer holidays. You don’t have to be a diehard Elvis fan to
enjoy the delightful Parkes Elvis Festival, and the World Heritage
Blue Mountains remain a favourite place to visit.
As a farmer, I ’m also pleased to see that the farming holiday
experience continues to be popular with many people, while
the volunteering holiday, similar to the one our patrols run at
Lightning Ridge, is growing. And although Mudgee wineries are
well known, the growth of the Central West as a winery hotspot
remains something of a hidden treasure.
With so much emphasis on boosting tourism across regional
NSW, and the NRMA’s renewed focus in this area, it’s fitting
that the Australian Roads Assessment Program (AusRAP)
report into our national highway network was released just
before Christmas (see page 14).
Eight of the 10 sections of highway listed among the safest
performing in NSW were found in regional NSW. The Sturt
Highway from Wagga to Narrandera was listed as the fourth
safest performing highway in Australia.
However, it wasn’t all positive news for our region. The Great
Western Highway/Mitchell Highway from Wellington to the Newell
Highway and from Orange to Wellington were listed among the
top 10 most dangerous sections in NSW. Four people died and 89
casualty crashes occurred along those two sections from 2010-
2014. Those are horrific figures.
We may have some remarkable holiday destinations in western
NSW, but we want visitors to get to them by driving on the safest
roads in the world.
TOURIST BOOST FOR THE CENTRAL WEST
FIONA SIMSON Deputy President & Director
Greater Western NSW (Townsend Region)
FIONA SIMSON Deputy President & Director
Transport projects ensure NSW growth
More than $50
billion of transport
being built right now
and this push needs
to continue in 2017
AS WE START THE NEW YEAR,
I want to reflect on 2016 and what
lies ahead for NSW in 2017.
A decade ago, the NRMA’s ‘Get
NSW Moving Again’ report identified
four major road projects critical to
Sydney’s growth. Construction is
underway on two: WestConnex,
which will do for Western Sydney
what the Harbour Bridge did for the
North Shore; and NorthConnex,
which will provide better links to the
Central Coast and Newcastle.
Planning has also commenced
for a better connection to the
southern suburbs via SouthConnex
(see page 13) and the Northern
Beaches via a Spit Bridge
alternative. All these roads will
transform how Sydney moves
forever, just as the M2, M5 and M7
did two decades ago.
But roads are also the economic
arteries of country areas and more
needs to be done for them. This
includes considering a flexible
public transport model here so cars
aren’t the only option.
Roads alone certainly won’t
solve city mobility challenges, and
public transport stands to be the
big winner under this Government.
The next stage will provide a
second Harbour rail crossing, light
rail and the Metro – all crucial to
Conservative estimates have
more than $50 billion worth of
transport infrastructure currently
underway in NSW, with much
more to come. This is a once-in-a -
generation boom and we’ve not
seen this many cranes across
Sydney’s skyline since the Olympics.
Last year, Lucy Turnbull outlined
the Greater Sydney Commission’s
plans for Sydney’s growth. The
three-city model focused on the
Airport City west of the M7, the
Central City based on Parramatta,
and the Eastern City on the CBD.
The vision will first
come to life in plans for
the Greater Parramatta
and Olympic Park
transport system that
light rail offers will
from Westmead to
Sydney Olympic Park.
The bi-partisan approach to
planning between the NSW
Parliament and the Greater Sydney
Commission is a rarity and both
sides of politics in NSW should be
commended. We hope that 2017 is a
year of further progress for NSW.
KYLE LOADES Chairman
The Metro/Train Station
plan for Martin Place.
I will be taking a journey on the
Rocky Mountaineer and cruising
Alaska’s Inside Passage this
September. NRMA Travel has an
exclusive package for Members.
I invite you to join me on this
adventure. Contact nrmatravel.
com.au or 1300 292 803.
14/12/2016 4:50 pm
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