Locals have their say on Great Western Highway Upgrade


13 May 2020

Safer and better-connected communities in the Blue Mountains, are among the key priorities outlined by locals in the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program Community Consultation Report.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the release of the report followed the first phase of community consultation late last year and responds to more than 1700 submissions received from the community in and beyond the Blue Mountains.

“The submissions show how passionately locals care for their community in delivering safer, faster and more reliable journeys for those travelling in, around and through the mountains,” Mr Toole said.

“The project team has been able to comprehensively address a number of questions and apprehensions the community had about the proposed upgrade, which hopefully means that we can move forward collaboratively on this vital infrastructure project.”

Mr Toole also announced the formation of the Blackheath Co-Design Committee to help refine route options for the Blackheath section. The committee includes independently selected community members and representatives of local organisations and Blue Mountains City Council staff.

“Upgrading the highway is a necessity, for safety, for connectivity and for easing congestion, but we recognise it won’t be easy, especially in Blackheath where there are a number of environmental and heritage constraints,” Mr Toole said.

“This committee is about ensuring we use local knowledge to help us identify the best options for the local community.”

Member of the Legislative Council Shayne Mallard said that this was just the first of many consultations planned for communities along the upgrade.

“Now that we have the general views of the community on the strategic corridor, we can progress to more targeted consultations with individual communities to identify and refine the route within that corridor,” Mr Mallard said. 

“I’m particularly excited for the community of Medlow Bath to have their say on the upgrade route through their town. We committed to prioritising Medlow Bath for construction and now we’re starting to see the momentum build towards that.”  

The Consultation Report is available for download here: nswroads.work/GWHconsult

Responses to all submissions received during consultation are contained in the report. 

The Blackheath Co-Design Committee (BCC) has also been officially launched. The 21-member committee had its first meeting on Wednesday, 6 May, joined by an independent facilitator and chaired by Transport for NSW. 

The membership of the BCC, which includes community representatives selected through an independent interview process, can be found here: Katoomba to Lithgow.