Trees of cultural significance to be protected during duplication of Barton Highway

22 December 2021

As road crews prepare to down tools for the Christmas break, a commitment has been made to protect a group of trees near the Kaveneys Road intersection of the Barton Highway upgrade project.

Transport for NSW Executive Director Community and Place Anthony Hayes said the commitment was made after lengthy discussions with local representative Aboriginal groups, archaeologists and other specialists.

“In January this year, a group of trees of Aboriginal cultural significance were located near Kaveneys Road. These trees would have been impacted by work to duplicate the highway,” Mr Hayes said.

“The Registered Aboriginal Participants have advised the group of trees includes a ring tree, scar tree and circle of trees known as a spirit circle.

“Since the discovery, we have paused work on this section for investigations to be carried out in consultation with Registered Aboriginal Parties, archaeologists and other specialists.

“Transport for NSW acknowledges the importance of the trees of significance to the community and commits to protecting the group of trees.

“We are now looking at alternative options for this area of the Barton Highway upgrade, which we hope to share with the community early next year.”

Mr Hayes said work to duplicate the highway to improve safety and travel times for local commuters, tourists and freight operators started in 2020.

“While alternatives are being considered, work is continuing from the ACT/ NSW border to the north of Briarwood Lane. More than 65,000 cubic metres of earth work – the equivalent of 130,000 trailer loads – has been completed and crews are set to be back on the job from 10 January 2022 after the Christmas shut down,” Mr Hayes said.

The Australian and NSW governments have together committed $200 million towards the upgrade of the Barton Highway, with $150 million provided by the Australian Government and $50 million by the NSW Government.

For more information about the project, visit rms.nsw.gov.au/barton

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