Help put a new highway through Blackheath: Minister

Blackheath: The $30m highway upgrade is almost complete. Now Paul Toole wants the whole highway duplicated from Katoomba to Lithgow.
Blackheath: The $30m highway upgrade is almost complete. Now Paul Toole wants the whole highway duplicated from Katoomba to Lithgow.

The Blackheath community is being invited to shape the Great Western Highway upgrade through a new committee that will help co-design the route.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said community feedback was pivotal to designing the highway upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow.

"The Blackheath Co-Design Committee will meet regularly over the next few months to discuss community concerns, consider feedback and then develop route options to go out to the community for consultation - and I encourage locals to put their hand up to be a part of it," Mr Toole said.

"From day one, we've been clear about the challenges of this project - we need to work around steep topography, minimise impacts on the environment and preserve the heritage and character of these communities and the best way to do that is with the community's input.

"We want to hear from those people who know Blackheath best to ensure we get the best outcome for the community."

The committee will be chaired by Transport for NSW Director West, Alistair Lunn, and involve representatives from Blue Mountains council staff, local community groups and key emergency services personnel.

Mr Lunn said that the recommendations of the committee would help inform the route options that Transport for NSW will put out to the community later this year.

"We understand that the community wants clarity on the route options for Blackheath, and we are moving ahead as quickly as possible to establish the committee and start that discussion," Mr Lunn said.

Community representatives must:

  • be a current resident or landowner in Blackheath;
  • be able to demonstrate involvement in local community groups and/or activities;
  • have knowledge and awareness of the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program, particularly in Blackheath, and local community concerns; and
  • not be an elected representative in any level of government

Applications will close on March 18, with the committee's first meeting to be held on April 8. Interested community members are invited to submit their application to gwhd@rms.nsw.gov.au or Great Western Highway Upgrade Program, PO Box 2332, Orange NSW 2800.

Further information and committee documents, including terms of reference can be found here.