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That’s the Way

Saturday, 3rd May, 2014

Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, with Deputy Mayor Marion Browne and local MP John Williams. Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, with Deputy Mayor Marion Browne and local MP John Williams.

By Nick Gibbs

State Government bankrolls Line of Lode road

Federation Way will undergo urgent repairs thanks to a $675,000 pledge from the NSW State Government.

The notoriously rough road leading to the Miners’ Memorial has been problem for several years and its location on Crown Land has resulted in persistent debate about who was responsible for repairing it.

“It’s been a very complex issue to resolve,” said Deputy Mayor, Marion Browne, after she met with the Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, and the Member for Murray Darling, John Williams yesterday.

Clr Browne thanked Mr Williams for his lobbying to win funding for the project and acknowledged the importance of the site to the city.

“It’s an iconic site in the city and a wonderful place to view Broken Hill,”  she said.

“There’s been great community interest in this.”  

Mr Humphries also thanked Mr Williams and said tourism stood to benefit from the improvements.

“I congratulate John on the work he has done to secure funding for this upgrade. Without his tireless advocacy this upgrade would not be happening,”  he said.

“The NSW Government is committed to fixing this road and, in doing so, ensuring that driving up Federation Way becomes an even better experience for the city’s residents and visitors.”

But Mr Williams said it wouldn’t be an easy job.

“There is no doubt the road needs a lot of work done, and that is why I asked Minister Humphries and Roads Minister Duncan Gay to make fixing this road a top priority,”  he said.

“Broken Hill City Council will be responsible for the design of the road. There is a fair bit of complexity involved.”  

Mr Williams said the fact that Crown Land was not managed by a trustee meant there was no-one there to help attract government funding and flagged the possibility of the Council filling the role.

He said the road was not safe and was limited in its capacity. Access to the memorial would also be cut during the repairs, he said.

“I would say there would be zero access,”  he said.

Council’s General Manager, Therese Manns, said the commitment from the state government would cover the total cost of the project.

“There will be no cost to council,”  she said.

Council is working on the preliminary design and it is not known when the project would be finished.

Ms Manns said the fact that it was the peak tourism season was factored into the starting date, and that doing the work in stages to allow the road to be used was a possibility.

Regarding Mr Williams’ proposal of the Council acting as a trustee for the Crown Land, Ms Manns said that had yet to be discussed.

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