The announcement today of the start of the community consultation process for the long overdue $2bn, 15 kilometre stretch of the M1 linking Black Hill to Raymond Terrace has been welcomed by the regions peak business group Business Hunter.
“This project has been on the infrastructure list in the Hunter Region for a long time with the first concept report released back in 2005. We are pleased both levels of government are moving ahead with this important next step” said Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes.
“This project has taken on significant importance as it is one of the last stretches of the M1 link from Sydney to Brisbane to be upgraded.
“The potential opportunities of this piece of infrastructure have long been lauded and they not only bring efficiencies to the freight task of the region, but to the state and the nation”.
“Once constructed, it will have a significant bearing on travel times within the state and the region. The objective of improving travel times has vital benefits for tourism, domestic travel and the movement of freight. It has the potential to bring down the costs of doing business, which brings benefits to all.
“Business Hunter will be working with businesses and the community to fully understand the impact of the project and to ensure their interests are accommodated in the design. It is a complex project and we respect that”, Mr Hawes added.
“We are relieved this step has been taken and were concerned the project was stalling, notwithstanding there are allocations in respective government budgets for the project.
“The concepts and designs have changed significantly since 2005 and it is important that the community and businesses understand how the project links into existing development and road infrastructure as well as facilitating future development.
“Linkages for nodes such as Heatherbrae, Tomago, Williamtown, Beresfield and the east west connectors are vitally important.”