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No budget item for Moruya bypass. Was it just all smoke and mirrors?

The NSW Budget - Regional report for the South East has a major omission being any funding for the Moruya Bypass.

Given that the above is a bit of an overview the Minister for Regional Roads offered a bit more detail in his media release covering additional funding for the current Spine Road and Nelligen bridge projects. The closest we get to any mention of the Moruya Bypass is: $52.5 million to continue the transformation of the Princes Highway from south of Nowra to the Victorian border, along with jointly funded planning and delivery to improve safety, travel times and freight efficiency of Jervis Bay Road Intersection, Jervis Bay to Sussex Inlet Upgrade and the Milton-Ulladulla Bypass

Source Given that the Milton Ulladulla bypass and the Moruya Bypass are at the same stages (as per the Transport NSW Pipeline above) it seems odd indeed that there be no mention at all of the $900 million project in the budget, especially when the Minister made a point of celebrating that other projects across the state covered in the budget would "continue construction" or "continue planning" The disappearance of the Moruya Bypass coincidentally coincides with the disappearance of the defeated Liberal candidate who has removed his political social media account. The announcement of the Moruya Bypass was first made on Mar 6, 2019 by the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Roads Minister Melinda Pavey and Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, when it was advised that "the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will invest another $960 million upgrading more of the Princes Highway - making the road safer and bringing new jobs and investment to the South Coast." Making the announcement the Premier said "In the next term of government, the NSW Liberals & Nationals will:

  • Duplicate sections of the Princes Highway from Jervis Bay Road to Sussex Inlet Road;

  • Build the Moruya Bypass; and

  • Start detailed planning work for the Milton and Ulladulla Bypass and upgrades for the Princes Highway from Burrill Lake to Batemans Bay.

Above: Mar 6, 2019 - NOTE that the 2019 New South Wales State election was held on Saturday 23 March 2019 - This post and account are now deleted. Oddly, the NSW 2020-2021 Budget made no reference to the proposed Moruya Bypass, nor did the 2021-22 Budget and now the 2022-2023 Budget.

The next State election is in March 2023. There is little sign of any work on the Moruya Bypass beginning in the last nine months of this term of Government. There is no budget and consultation is still underway after the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads apparently "asked his agency to review their decision after bad consultation during Covid" according to the now deleted Andrew Constance MP social media account.

With an Federal election underway Andrew Constance used his social media page to promote a promise of funding for the Nowra Bypass. The post, and video (now deleted), received considerable feedback from Nowra locals however there were other comments added, such as the question from Ivan Vrankovic "So what is happening with the Moruya bypass?" As you can see, according to Andrew Constance's response on his own Facebook page (now deleted), "the NSW Minister asked his agency to review their decision after bad consultation during Covid" adding "The bypass needs to happen so there is no choke point for access to the new regional hospital". The Minister and the Treasurer have been asked for comment.