Local men help native animals as part of major bypass project

12 December 2014

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward today announced that the NSW Government’s contractors Fulton Hogan have engaged the Berry Men’s Shed to help build 45 of 150 nest boxes to be installed as part of the $580 million Foxground and Berry bypass project.

Mr Ward said that the Berry Men’s Shed is a community based organisation which encourages social inclusion by giving men from all walks of life an opportunity to come together for a chat and work on projects at their own pace.

"Little did members know one of those projects, between cuppas and woodwork and talk about the weekend footy results, would end up being an important part of a half a billion dollar Princes Highway upgrade,” he said.

“This is a great example of working with and providing economic and social benefits to the community.

“A Biodiversity Offset Strategy has been developed for the Foxground and Berry bypass project in line with the project’s Conditions of Approval.

“This strategy includes a number of measures to minimise the impact of the project on flora and fauna before and during the native vegetation within the project boundary.

“One of the measures is the installation of nest boxes with almost a third to be provided by the Berry Men’s Shed.”

Mr Ward said that the nest boxes have been specifically designed for about 14 different species and will be installed next to existing habitats.

“We have asked the Berry Men’s Shed to build 45 of the 150 nest boxes required for the project,” he said.

“They have finished building 20 and will continue to provide the remaining 25 next year.”

“Early work has started on the Foxground and Berry bypass, which will provide a four lane divided highway with median separation for 11.6 kilometres of the Princes Highway between Toolijooa Road and Schofields Lane.

“The upgrade includes a bypass of the existing winding highway at Foxground and a bypass of Berry with access ramps at the north and south end of the town.

“Work to date includes building the site compound, demolition of properties, boundary fencing, utility relocations and vegetation clearing.

“Major work is expected to start early next year and the bypass is expected to be open to traffic in mid-2018,” Mr Ward said.

MEDIA: Gareth Ward 0401 499 933 or Ben Blackburn 0423 466 358

View the original media release

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