Duplication of Barton Highway: NSW Transport’s Decision to Protect Culturally Significant Trees Welcomed | Canberra weather

news, environment, Barton Highway, ACT, NSW, Infrastructure, NSW Government, barton highway upgrade

An elder from Ngunnawal hailed the decision of the NSW government to protect a group of culturally significant trees near the Kaveneys Road intersection as part of the Barton Highway Modernization Project of 200 millions of dollars. NSW Transport in a recent update made a commitment to protect the trees, which includes a ring tree, a scar tree, and a circle of trees known as the Spirit Circle. It comes after extensive advocacy by Indigenous leaders, including the Onerwal Indigenous Lands Council and various environmental organizations, to redesign parts of the duplication, notably near the ACT-NSW border. Wally Bell, a former Ngunnawal and one of the advocates, said it was “a surprise” that Transport NSW made the commitment, but said he appreciated it. “It is not our intention to stop duplication,” said Mr. Bell. “All we try to do is protect our culture, our knowledge and our practices so that they can be passed on to future generations.” Mr Bell said negotiations between authorities and various local groups showed that solutions could be found “if people are willing to sit down and talk about things instead of being stubborn about them.” “There is room for compromise and this is where a good understanding comes in,” he said. “Many people still do not understand the indigenous heritage and the diversity of indigenous cultures across the country.” Prior to the engagement, Transport NSW halted work in this section to conduct further consultation with relevant stakeholders. Mr. Bell also thanked other groups, including Yass Area Network and Ginninderra Catchment Group, for their involvement and advocacy. In mid-2021, they warned that indigenous cultural trees housing vulnerable squirrel gliders just across the ACT border could be severely damaged or killed if this section of the highway is not resigned. The current duplication of the first leg of the ACT border to Murrumbateman means that the existing roadway next to the trees would turn southbound while the new northbound lanes would be built on the other side of the trees, leaving them in the middle of the two. pavements. One “proposed community option” was to build the duplication in the space between the trees and the existing highway, which would require only a small amount of clearing and retain the geometry of the ACT road. Discussions on this section were ongoing. MORE NEWS NSW Transport Community Executive Director Anthony Hayes said the Kaveneys Road tree cluster “has reportedly been affected by work to duplicate the highway.” “Transport for NSW recognizes the importance of important trees to the community and is committed to protecting the group of trees,” said Mr. Hayes. “We are now exploring alternative options for this area of ​​the Barton Freeway upgrade. While alternatives are being considered, work continues from the ACT-NSW border north of Briarwood Lane. “More than 65,000 cubic meters of earthworks – the equivalent of 130,000 trailer loads – have been completed and crews are expected to resume work from January 10.” Motorway duplication work to improve safety and travel times for local commuters, tourists and freight operators began in 2020. The Australian and NSW governments have committed $ 150 million and $ 50 million, respectively. million dollars for highway modernization. Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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