Locals in bushfire impacted Wingecarribee Shire will soon travel safely along Wombeyan Caves Road again thanks to the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

Member for Hume Angus Taylor and Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman joined Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Duncan Gair today to announce an $8 million to upgrade Wombeyan Caves Road at Bullio after it was severely damaged by the 2019/20 bushfires and recent floods.

Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said the upgrade to Wombeyan Caves Road would improve safety for residents and tourists.

“The bushfires and floods earlier this year caused significant damage to the road,” Mr Taylor said.

“This funding will see the road upgraded and will encourage more tourists to the area as a result of the improved access to the caves.”

“We are seeing huge investment in this area right now, with funding recently announced for an upgrade to the facilities at Wombeyan Caves campground, a new mobile base station at the campground and funds dedicated to improving Wombeyan Caves Road via Taralga.”

Mrs Tuckerman said the high priority project will see the road eventually reopened, allowing locals and tourists into the area to travel more efficiently between properties, landmarks and attractions such as Wombeyan Caves.

“We have been working to get things back to normal and this significant investment will restore Wombeyan Caves Road to a better condition than before the damage from fire and flood,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“For locals who have had to divert around the road closure, this means a return to normality, saving them valuable time, and will be a direct stimulus for our local economy.

“Wombeyan Caves Road is the shortest route from Sydney for visitors who flock to visit Wombeyan Caves each year, the re-opening of the road will shave off more than an hour of travel time for those coming from Sydney, encouraging easier and more frequent visits,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

Mayor Gair said the project is a great example of all tiers of government working together to help our local residents.

“Wombeyan Caves Road remains an important and historically significant route that deserves future protection.

“I thank the Members for Hume and Goulburn for this crucial funding and for their continued support of our Shire. I would also congratulate the staff of Council for preparing this successful grant submission”, Cr Gair said.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund has been designed to deliver infrastructure and initiatives that will boost economic and social recovery, increase community preparedness for future natural disasters and help to get residents back on their feet.

“Our regional communities have been doing it tough to say the least which is why we are backing projects that will put people back in work, retain existing jobs and stimulate local economies with a focus on improving essential community infrastructure and industry development,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The funds delivered for these important projects will put people in work sooner and deliver a variety of shovel-ready projects and programs that will make a genuine difference to the lives of people living in regional communities.”

Applications for a share of $250 million can be submitted in the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund open round, which opened on 27 October 2020.

Grants of between $200,000 and $20 million will be available to organisations through the open round, including councils, joint organisations, business chambers, charities, businesses and Local Aboriginal Land Councils to deliver successful projects.

For further information, including guidelines, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/blerfund.