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Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, met with members of Ulmarra Village Inc to announce the $20 million investment by the NSW Government to upgrade Big River Way and encouraged them to provide feedback on the proposed improvements. Image: contributed.

Staying safe on the Big River Way

On Friday, of last week Mr Chris Gulaptis hosted a visit by the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Mr Paul Toole.

Minister Toole announced that $20 million in funding would be made available to upgrade Big River Way (the old Pacific Highway from Grafton-Maclean).

Mr Toole said the Big River Way was a key route for traffic travelling to Grafton, the New England region and along Summerland Way.
Since the new section of Pacific Highway between Glenugie and Tyndale is already making safer journeys – so now it’s time to improve the old highway.

A lot of campaigning has been done by concerned residents and businesses in the Ulmarra and Grafton areas because there is still a lot of traffic passing through Ulmarra. However, this is also crucial to keeping the community alive.

“Locals are already enjoying better journeys on Big River Way as a result of traffic moving onto the new Pacific Highway, but we understand that it will continue to be a key road for the community, which is why we want their feedback to help shape safety improvements,” Mr Toole said.

Member for Clarence and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads and Infrastructure Chris Gulaptis said the Big River Way upgrade formed part of the Safer Asset Strategy, which was designed to improve road safety and reduce the incidence of crashes.

Minister Toole re-iterated what Mr Gulaptis said, by saying that although he is from Bathurst out west, we need to make our roads safer and particularly in smaller communities.

“We are so close to the finish line of the Pacific Highway upgrade – a multi-generational project transforming journeys along the North Coast, which has already created more than 3000 jobs during the peak of the Woolgoolga to Ballina project alone and injected millions into local economies,” Minister Toole said.

“Planned work includes installing a wide centre line at various locations, providing new or extended safety barriers in medians and along the roadside, and improving pedestrian safety at the recently bypassed town of Ulmarra,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“It’s important that we hear from the local community before we make any decisions, because we want to deliver the best possible outcome for our region.”

The community is being asked to provide feedback on the proposed improvements via post to ‘Big River Way Glenugie to Tyndale – proposed safety improvements’, PO Box 576, Grafton NSW 2460, or by email to [email protected]

Comments will close by Friday July 10 to allow the project team to consider all feedback and finalise the proposed program. More information about the planned improvements for Big River Way is available on the Transport for NSW website at or by phoning 1800 653 092.