The NSW Government has announced that $9 million in funding to support Parkes Shire Council in upgrading seven sections of the Bogan Way (MR350N) between Forbes and Tullamore, which is Parkes' north-south freight link. The upgrades will deliver safer, smoother journeys for freight operators and motorists, as part of the NSW Government’s $543 million Fixing Country Roads program.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the project was part of a $106.7 million investment in 35 projects announced across the state this year, which aim to address road freight pinch-points and better connect freight facilities.

“Efficient freight networks are so critical for businesses in the bush - and projects like these play a crucial part in driving productivity and bringing businesses closer to their customer,” Mr Toole said.

Member of the Legislative Council Sam Farraway said work would start on the project within the next 12 months.

“It will see 25 kilometres of road being widened, upgraded and sealed around Trundle and Bogan Gate, including Boltfield Road and the crossing of Crooked Creek,” Mr Farraway said.

The project is valued at more than $15 million and is being funded with more than $9 million from Fixing Country Roads, 4.58 million from the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and $1.45 million contributed by Parkes Shire Council.

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "the Bogan Way (MR350) is a major arterial in the Parkes Shire, providing a north-south road train route and the main arterial route between Tullamore, Trundle, Bogan Gate and Forbes, as well as north of Tullamore to the town of Tottenham.

"The use of High Productivity Vehicles is restricted in Parkes Shire and the Central West region, resulting in inefficiencies for transport of commodities. This impacts journey times and adds real cost burdens to production through sub-optimal freight loading and transport options, reducing the cost competitiveness of the region and creating impediments to regional growth.

Significant work has already been undertaken on MR350 over the past few years. The upgrades within the project scope will enable high productivity vehicles to use this route, providing a significant link for local producers to regional and state freight and associated markets.

The projects are expected to commence from August 2021 with the expected completion date being within two years, weather permitting.

Deputy Mayor Cr Barbara Newton, a resident of the Tullamore area and frequent user of MR350 said, "It is wonderful that the State Government has invested with Council on this road. MR350 services a large area for both freight and passenger purposes, and the proposed improvements will make it much safer for the mix of heavy vehicles and everyday passenger vehicles."

Parkes Shire Council was one of only four successful projects in New South Wales that received funding through the Fixing Country Roads program in a highly competitive grants process. Council currently has 76 grant projects in delivery that support and strengthen our community.