Turning of sod to start $5.4 million service centre development on Newell Highway

The next stage of works at the Homemaker Centre has begun, with the turning of a sod to mark the official start of works on a $5.4 million development.

Graeme Isbester, Clive Cawthorne, Mayor Phyllis Miller, Rowan Olsen, General Manager Steve Loane and back, Brian Curry at the Newell Highway work site.

Graeme Isbester, Clive Cawthorne, Mayor Phyllis Miller, Rowan Olsen, General Manager Steve Loane and back, Brian Curry at the Newell Highway work site.

A major new highway service centre is planned for the site, on the Newell Highway just north of Forbes.

The $5.4 million project will include a trade service station, convenience store, restaurant and car parking.

Accommodating the increasing number of heavy vehicles on the Newell – including the newly approved B-Triple trucks - this service centre will be well received, a media release issued by Forbes Shire Council on Thursday said.

The development has been given approval this week by the Western Region Planning Panel.

It was initially approved in September last year, with some amendments including the addition of an emergency repair service, to the plans advertised in August. 

The project officially began with a sod turning ceremony on Monday October 8.

This was attended by Mayor Phyllis Miller and Council’s General Manager, Steve Loane.

“It’s been three long years to get this project up and running,” Mayor Miller said, “and major work will commence in the coming weeks.

“This is very good news for Forbes and shows the hard work being done to drive economic development in our town, and is one of a number of very exciting developments for the Forbes Shire.”

As an initial commencement of work on the site, Council has mapped all existing services, roadway and road reserves as well as cleared vegetation from the site.

The nearest facilities of this kind on the Newell Highway are 160km north and 300km south, the Council media release said.

“With the increase in transport in the Forbes/Parkes area due to the Inland Rail development, there is significant demand for services such as these,” it continued.